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Botswana: The Future of the Minority Languages

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Herman M. Batibo and Birgit Smieja

The need of the national language Setswana to participate actively in society, politics and democratisation as both national language and lingua franca of Botswana, has caused language domination and suffocation on the part of the 25 or so minority languages. As a result, these languages are now going through a process of language shift and death. Consequently, their cultures, too, suffer great losses in order to keep pace with the mainstream society.
The aim of the book is threefold: (a) to inform the large public, both local and international, about the sociolinguistic and related issues regarding the minority languages of Botswana, (b) to provide facts about the state and future trends of the minority languages in order to sensitise the public and the relevant authorities about the issues involved, and (c) to present ideas and insights in order to stimulate academic debates on the minority languages.
Linguists from Botswana as well as from Europe and U.S.A. present their latest field research findings to shed light on the present situation of the minority languages.
Contents: Segakweng Tsiane: Foreword – Bernd Heine: Preface – Herman M. Batibo/Birgit Smieja: Introduction – Tore Janson: The History of the Minority-Language Speakers in Botswana – Sue Hasselbring: Where are the Khoesan of Botswana? – Birgit Smieja/Herman M. Batibo: Language Shift Tendencies of Minority-Language Users in Botswana: Fashion or Rule? – Stephen T.M. Lukusa: The Shekgalagadi Struggle for Survival: Aspects of Language Maintenance and Shift – Andy Chebanne/Moemedi Nthapelelang: The Socio-linguistic Survey of the Eastern Khoe in the Boteti and Makgadikgadi Pans Areas of Botswana – Herman M. Batibo/Naledi Mosaka: Linguistic Barriers as a Hindrance to Information Flow: The Case of Botswana – Joyce T. Mathangwane/Birgit Smieja: Future Trends in the Botswana Media: The Destiny of Minority Languages – Gabriele Sommer/Rainer Vossen: Language Gain and Language Loss: The Spread of Setswana in Ngamiland – Birgit Smieja: Code-switching in Botswana: Exception or Rule? – Annah Molosiwa: Deculturalisation and Language Shift among the Otjiherero-Mbanderu Speakers of Tshabong – Hessel Visser: Language and Cultural Empowerment of the Khoesan People: The Naro Experience – Lydia Nyati-Ramahobo: Linguistic and Cultural Domination: The Case of the Wayeyi of Botswana – Megan Biesele/Robert K. Hitchcock: Ju|’hoan-Language Education in Namibia and its Relevance for Minority-Language Education in Botswana – Christopher Stroud: An Applied Linguistics Approach to the Politics of Language Revitalisation.