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Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki

Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki

Perry Gilmore

ISBN: 978-1-119-10157-4

Aug 2015, Wiley-Blackwell

184 pages

Out of stock



Part historic ethnography, part linguistic case study and part a mother’s memoir, Kisisi tells the story of two boys (Colin and Sadiki) who, together invented their own language, and of the friendship they shared in postcolonial Kenya. 
  • Documents and examines the invention of a ‘new’ language between two boys in postcolonial Kenya
  • Offers a unique insight into child language development and use
  • Presents a mixed genre narrative and multidisciplinary discussion that describes the children’s border-crossing friendship and their unique and innovative private language
  • Beautifully written by one of the foremost scholars in child development, language acquisition and education, the book provides a seamless blending of the personal and the ethnographic
  • The story of Colin and Sadiki raises profound questions and has direct implications for many fields of study including child language acquisition and socialization, education, anthropology, and the anthropology of childhood

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Acknowledgments ix

Map xiii

Prologue xv

1 Uweryumachini!: A Language Discovered 1

2 Herodotus Revisited: Language Origins, Forbidden Experiments, New Languages, and Pidgins 17

3 Lorca’s Miracle: Play, Performance, Verbal Art, and Creativity 35

4 Kekopey Life: Transcending Linguistic Hegemonic Borders and Racialized Postcolonial Spaces 58

5 Kisisi: Language Form, Development, and Change 93

Epilogue 132

In Memoriam 137

Notes 138

References 146

Index 157