The Language of Prostitution in Contemporary Cameroon


This paper examines certain usage peculiar in the domain known as prostitution.  Like all other living languages, prostitution is one of the sectors in Cameroon whose language is slowly but steadily developing and impacting users and Cameroon in a not too minimal proportion. The study is inspired by the understanding that prostitution in Cameroon is a shady area reflected in its language partly because of lack of legality; though respect for African taboos. It is a practice endowed with virtue and ills; consequently cannot be extricated from human concerns. Rather than conceal its rich linguistic repertoire or permanently frown at, this study suggests that the domain could be accorded some recognition and opened up to humanity in order to dispel ignorance and encourage informed practice and generate conscience. The paper is, therefore, a lexico-semantic presentation of the language of prostitution as assuring signs of the multi-linguistic vibrancy of the Cameroonian linguistic paradigm. In order to achieve the objectives, a number of Tests were designed to ascertain the presence, acceptability and usage, growth, protection and sustainability then the merits and demerits of the language. Most importantly, this study is useful to the government in identifying a code used in this trade. At the end, it was realised among other findings that it is estimated in the distant future, the Language of prostitution may be on a horizontal scale with some Cameroonian Languages. Also, in the absence of a regulatory instrument, it is supposed that while prostitution is not practiced by everybody, speakers are all promoters and protectors of its language, therefore, assurance for sustainability and stability especially in the youths whose inquisitiveness and linguistic creativity is constantly on the rise. Irrespective of the repugnant nature of the language of prostitution, one would bear with us that a language remains a language no matter its characteristics. But if any one were to accord any inferiority to the language of prostitution in Cameroon, it would be because of its relatedness to sex for money and favour; a taboo. Otherwise, it communicates, directs, informs and educates as any other Language as famous as English Language; reasons its merits always override demerits.

Keywords: Context, Language use, Prostitution

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 18-30 (Download PDF)

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