Syntactic study of trade names in 5 Francophone West African countries

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Francophone West African countries use the French Language as their official means of communication in a multilingual environment of various local and foreign languages.

From the time of colonization to independence, the French Language has been the one mostly used in official matters, including the wording of trade names.

In contrast to this long dated and commonly recognized linguistic situation, more and more business, shop and workshop owners have been wording, since about the 1990s, their trade names with some kind of Anglophone syntactic structure with French words, French and English words and in few cases with some local languages‟ words.

Population movement is a constant characteristic of world history.

As a matter of fact and for various social motives, members of several French and English speech communities meet and interact, which brings about language contact.

The social encounter then gives rise to a linguistic phenomenon which is exemplified in the specific case of this study by the insertion of English syntactic structure in trade names in French in the Francophone West African countries covered by this study: Benin, Burkina-Faso, Côte d‟Ivoire, Niger and Togo.

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