Multilingualism and Language Shift in Boro Communities: A Sociolinguistic Survey

Statement of Responsibility:
Davis, Angela, Hussein Mohammed and Linda Jordan
Date:
2013
Abstract:

Previous research has shown that the Boro people, also known as the Shinasha, are in the process of shifting from the Borna language to Oromo and Amharic (Lemma and Wedekind 2002). However, the qualitative information gleaned from sociolinguistic interviews had not yet been quantified by the testing of bilingual proficiency. A new survey of the Boro area, completed in 2004, has combined bilingualism testing with a study of social interaction and language attitudes. This paper will present the results of the survey, showing the patterns of language vitality and language endangerment in several different Boro communities. The vitality of Borna across a wider area than expected, combined with the Boro people’s interest in preserving their language, points to the possibility that language shift will be stabilized and eventually reversed.

Extent:
31 pages
Subject:
Sociolinguistic survey
Shinasha
Oromo
Omotic
Multilingualism
language vitality
Language surveys
Language shift
Language endangerment
Ethiopia
Boto
Bilingual proficiency
Amharic
Country:
Ethiopia
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Nature of Work:
Work Type: