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Vanishing Languages in Context

Ideological, Attitudinal and Social Identity Perspectives


Martin Pütz and Neele Mundt

This volume grew out of the 36th International LAUD Symposium, which was held in March 2014 at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Landau, Germany. There is general consensus among language experts that slightly more than half of today’s 7,000 languages are under severe threat of extinction even within fifty to one hundred years. The 13 papers contained in this volume explore the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why this matters, and what can be done and achieved to document and support endangered languages especially in the context of an ever increasing globalized world. The issue of vanishing languages is discussed from a variety of methodologies and perspectives: sociolinguistics, language ecology, language contact, language policy/planning, attitudes and linguistic inequalities.
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Esther Senayon - Non-native speaker mother, personal family efforts and language maintenance: The case of Ogu (Nigeria) in my family


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Esther Senayon

University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Non-native speaker mother, personal family efforts and language maintenance: The case of Ogu (Nigeria) in my family

Abstract This study presents findings from a decade-long (2004–2014) personal family efforts aimed at maintaining Ogu, a minority language spoken in parts of Lagos and Ogun States of Nigeria. Following the various scholarly affirmations on the shift from the language to Yoruba and English among its native speakers, this researcher provides an account of how efforts at revitalizing the language in her home after the Joshua Fishman (1991) model have yielded results that transcend the home experience. The study also shows in the process how a combination of positive attitudes and enthusiasm to learn turned the author, a non-native speaker of the language, into a key player in the maintenance efforts in her home. Therefore, while adopting a narrative method in the presentation of her findings from the home, the author discusses the positive impact of the maintenance efforts on seven other Ogu and non-Ogu homes. Data was collected using in-depth interview with the seven other homes. The study does a descriptive analysis of the data from the interview sessions. It concludes that while personal family efforts in language maintenance grant agency to children in language shift reversal, they also have the capacity to influence members of the extended family in their separate homes and other non-speakers of a target language to assume agency in furthering the...

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