Cameroon appears today, only for 475000 km2 (15 millions inhabitants), as a melting pot of languages, people and cultures which hardly mix together. This singularising heterogeneity which makes in other way “the Cameroonian particularity” is expressed in daily speech acts such as advertisement which have to survive in this ambient cosmopolitism. Therefore, to conceal a commercial rhetoric (discourse on merchandise) and a sociopoetics (discourse on the world), stereotype (usages) evenemential (speech act) is, as it seems, the most important challenge allotted to advertisement in Cameroon which, at the same time, has to define its contract of speech (cultural contract) and its strategy of speech (linguistic choices).
This paper aims at showing how Cameroonian advertisement takes on its own linguistic destiny while implying through various mechanisms the cultural background of the alterity.
Quite obviously, one can say that the intercultural dimension is not
absent in advertisement in Cameroon. It remains remarkable by the porosity
of its discourse mechanisms, and one can say that it has almost won the
bet of modernity which guarantees its insertion and its emergence in
a plural, assumed and open Francophonia. It is Therefore the French language
which gains ground, recognized here and ever as the language of international
communication, despite an unhappy cohabitation with the numerous local
languages and other dialects more or less standardized.. But if the policy
of official bilingualism (French-english) adopted by Cameroon has so
far permitted to maintain the national unity, it has not yet solved the
problem of linguistic identity posed by multiculturalism. The exclusion
of the national languages from prestigious functions like education has
set aside a great number of rural young people from school, because of
the high rate of illiteracy, in such a way that one can ask if the lasting
development of a country can be possible with a foreign language partially
mastered by its people. But if they have to rebalance the policy in favour
of national languages, do they have functional means for their standardization
? In other words, is the linguistic insularity still possible in a context
of globalisation and economic exchanges (multinational states)? That
is the internal tragedy Cameroon silently goes through.