A sociolinguistic survey of the Gbe language communities of Benin and Togo, Volume 7: Defi language area

Statement of Responsibility:
Johnson, Eric C
Authors:
Series Issue:
2011-019
Date:
2011
Publisher:
SIL International
Publisher Place:
Dallas, Texas
Part Of Series:
SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2011-019
Extent:
33 pages
Abstract:
This paper presents a sociolinguistic survey conducted in the Defi language communities (Kwa language family) of Benin. The Gbe languages continuum is situated in the southeastern part of West Africa. Expanding westwards from southwestern Nigeria, the Gbe communities occupy large areas in southern Benin, Togo and southeastern Ghana. To date in Benin, as far as Gbe varieties are concerned, Aja, Fon, Gen and Gun have undergone language development on a larger scale. A survey of the Defi communities was conducted to assess whether and to what extent existing literature and literacy efforts in Gen could extend to the Defi communities and to determine the nature and extent of SIL’s possible involvement among these communities. Together with a general overview of the taxonomic and geographic language situation, survey interview and group test results are presented on comprehension of Gun, language attitudes toward both written and oral forms of Gun as well as toward the development of Defi, language vitality and the relationship of Defi to related Gbe varieties in terms of comprehension and language attitudes. Also, information by local leaders on the literacy and religious situations and on migration history is given. After a general overview of the taxonomic and geographic language situation, test results are reported. Survey interview and group test results are presented on comprehension of Gun. Results are given on language attitudes toward both written and oral forms of Gun and toward the development of Defi. In addition, the following topics were investigated: language vitality and the relationship of Defi to related Gbe varieties in terms of comprehension and language attitudes. Also, information by local leaders on the literacy and religious situations and on migration history is given. The group comprehension test results show, at least preliminarily, that the Defi have good comprehension of Gun. Though the preference everywhere is for literacy in Gun, Gun literacy appears to be a workable solution for literacy needs in the Defi speech communities provided there is adequate institutional support. Regarding Defi language vitality, there are no indications of language shift.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Benin
Togo
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Work Type:
Work Type:
Subject:
Language surveys
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
41574