Investigating language vitality in some parts of North Eastern Botswana
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
Rights holderB. Mogara, E. Kari, M. Kadenge and D. Molefhi
MetadataShow full item record
The main objective of this article is to investigate the level of language vitality in Botswana on the basis of patterns of language use, transgenerational language transmission, language attitudes and ethno-cultural identity. We specifically look at the patterns of language use amongst six communities in north eastern Botswana, namely, Lesoma, Nata, Kachikau, Kazungula, Pandamatenga and Gweta. Our analysis draws insights from Fishman’s (1991) Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (GIDS) and Lewis and Simons’ (2009) Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS). Our results demonstrate language use preferences and how minority languages in Botswana are faring in relation to the national language (Setswana) and the de jure official language (English), and in relation to one another. In the main, our findings confirm previous impressionistic observations that Setswana dominates public, official and social domains while the ethno-linguistic vitality of community languages is very low because they have no official status, have limited intergenerational transmission and remain restricted to private domains like the home and cultural activities.
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