Identifying regional and national orin of English-speaking Africans seeking asylum in German

Authors

  • Augustin Simo Bobda
  • Hans-Georg Wolf
  • Lothar Peter

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v6i2.300

Abstract

Faced with the influx of asylum seekers without reliable identification, some European countries have started to resort to the analysis of spoken texts produced by the applicants to trace their true origins. This has triggered a hot debate among politicians, non-governmental organizations and academics. Ethical and scientific considerations are the two main poles of the debate. On the scientific front, the question is whether it is possible to determine the asylum seekers' origin from the analysis of the spoken texts. The present paper, probably the first purely scientific contribution to the debate, has an affirmative answer with respect to asylum seekers from anglophone Africa. It argues that the identification of the region and even the country of origin of the subject, is possible, from phonetic/phonological, sociolinguistic, socio-cultural and other clues. The paper contends that, while one of the clues, especially the linguistic, may be sufficient, a combination of several provides a higher degree of reliability.

Published

1999-08-07

How to Cite

Bobda, A. S., Wolf, H.-G., & Peter, L. (1999). Identifying regional and national orin of English-speaking Africans seeking asylum in German. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 6(2), 300–319. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v6i2.300

Issue

Section

Articles