Participation and Decision-making in Luganda: A Study of Spoken Discourse at Rural Community Business Meetings


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Linguistics, English Language Studies and Communication Skills


The study uses a multi-perspective approach to explore how participants at farmer group meetings use Luganda language to express assessment of people, objects and events, as well as to make decisions during interactive discourse. In this context, the study takes the discourse of farmer group meetings as a genre of business meetings, where the public is included in decision-making interactions between government and citizens. The study argues that the process of rural development through groups brings with it challenges of how different actors, including participants at community development business meetings, construe the notion of participation. Using audial recordings of rural farmer group meetings, the study analyzes the spoken Luganda discourse of appraisal and evaluation, in order to explore the linguistic manifestations of participation, citizenship, negotiation and decision-making within the context of the genre of business meetings. In this sense, the study discusses the notions of participation and decision-making from within their natural situations of usage in spoken discourse.