The Language of the City: Town Bemba as Urban Hybridity



This article describes the linguistic variety Town Bemba (Zambia) and considers its implications for the study of linguistic heteroglossia and the experience of modernity. I propose that Town Bemba be understood as a cover term for a set of Bemba-based multilingual practices that exemplify urbanity but need not be tied to urban locales. The structural, ideological, and sociocultural features of Town Bemba are examined using data from naturally occurring discourse collected in Zambi