Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2013

Capstone Advisor

Lars Rodseth

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

African Languages and Societies | Anthropology | French and Francophone Language and Literature | French Linguistics | Linguistic Anthropology


The French first landed off the south-eastern coast of Madagascar in December of 1648. A little over two and a half centuries later they would land troops, marking the beginning of sixty years of colonization. The groundwork for government and education set during these years continues to the present day, including the use of the French language. In this study I look at the role of the French language in modern-day Madagascar. Using interviews from two major urban centers, I argue that French has a dualistic role, both as an opportunity for self-advancement for a select few, while also as an oppressive force for many others.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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