Factors Contributing to Language Endangerment of Minority Languages in Rural Communities Near Mine Towns of Zambia: A Case Study of Lamba and Swaka Languages
International Journal of Elementary Education
Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2018, Pages: 23-27
Received: May 22, 2018; Accepted: Jun. 12, 2018; Published: Jul. 5, 2018
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Author
Elliot Machinyise, Department of Literature and Languages, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kabwe, Zambia
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Abstract
The Zambian linguistic landscape is deliberately designed in such a way that each of the ten provinces of Zambia has a dominant language accorded the status of regional official language with speakers of other minority languages mandated to use it for all local official transactions. This paper examines the factors contributing to language endangerment and loss of vitality of minority languages, specifically the indigenous languages of Zambia whose native speakers live in the close proximity to the cities. A case study was conducted in the local villages on the outskirts of two cities of Zambia; Kabwe and Ndola. Around Kabwe town Swaka native speakers were selected while in Ndola on the Copperbelt, Lamba language speakers were equally selected for this study. This study was conducted to find out the language attitudes, domains of language use and mother tongue and regional lingua franca proficiency of these native speakers. A questionnaire was used to elicit the participants’ language proficiency, preference and domains of language use. Interviews and observations were used to find out language attitudes and reasons for language choice by participants. The results of this study show that the regular contact of native speakers of the minority languages with the city has negatively affected the vitality of the local languages in villages around these cities. Increase in mobility of people from other regions in search of employment, exchange of goods and information coupled with entertainment to and from cities has driven a powerful trend towards the extinction of native languages in the villages closer to big cities. The study has also revealed that if the owners of industries, mines and other multinational investors do not give employment priorities to locals and continue employing and recruiting workers from other regions, local languages within the investment areas will gradually go into total extinction.
Keywords
Regional Official Language, Minority Languages, Language Shift, Language Endangerment, Swaka, Lamba
To cite this article
Elliot Machinyise, Factors Contributing to Language Endangerment of Minority Languages in Rural Communities Near Mine Towns of Zambia: A Case Study of Lamba and Swaka Languages, International Journal of Elementary Education. Vol. 7, No. 2, 2018, pp. 23-27. doi: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20180702.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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