Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The diffusion or the aluminium smelting technique is a clear example of the mobility of West-African populations. In the present article, we interrogate ourselves on the effect of such mobility on the technical lexicon used by the artisans. At the Katako market, in Niamey, smelters of different origins can be found, because of which several languages (Bambara, Dogon, Hausa, Zarma) come into contact. Although the fact that the technique has been introduced in Niger by Senegalese and Malinese smelters, not a single Wolof, Bambara or Dogon word can be found in the lexicon used by nowadays Hausa and Zarma smelters. A lot of French loanwords are present however. The language status and the status of the individual who speaks the language seem to influence the use or not of certain loanwords. In this way, language is used to emphasize or to hide a particular identity. However, the extreme linguistic complexity in West Africa does not hamper the extraordinary mobility of the artisans, as they show an exceptional flexibility.