OLAC Record

Title:Reviving Marginalized Languages in Kenya: A Case Study of the Sabaot on Mount Elgon
Abstract:The threat of death hangs over many minority languages in Kenya. Historically, these languages are officially and functionally insignificant and marginalized. They are dying because they are relegated to low-level functions in the national arena. English, Kiswahili and a few dominant languages enjoy official roles in the public and educational domains. Minority language speakers feel inferior and prefer to hide their identity or adopt dominant languages. While the Sabaot language loss seems to be reversing following intervention by language agencies and community support, the younger generation is keen and fixed on the benefits obtained from the use of English and Kiswahili. Sabaot revitalization is therefore faced with intergenerational transmission problems exacerbated by a negative attitude towards mother tongue education. The Sabaot writing system is far different from the conventional English and Kiswahili orthography and therefore an excuse for non-commitment. For a proper understanding of why many Kenyan languages are facing extinction, a proper context and background of their present plight can be deduced from the Sabaot case study. The topics in this paper include: historical problems of marginalization; language policy in Kenya; language shift and transmission status of the Sabaot language; linguistic intervention and literacy programmes; challenge of new phonology and grammar; mother tongue teaching in public school and what the future holds of Sabaot language.
Contributor (author):Kipsisey, Godfrey
Date (W3CDTF):2010
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/54786
Extent:18 pages
Identifier (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/54786
Language (ISO639):eng
Spatial Coverage (ISO3166):KE
Subject:Sabaot language
Subject (ISO639):spy
Type (DCMI):Text


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:54786
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Kipsisey, Godfrey. 2010. SIL Language and Culture Archives.
Terms: area_Africa area_Europe country_GB country_KE dcmi_Text iso639_eng iso639_spy

Inferred Metadata

Country: Kenya
Area: Africa

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 6:09:37 EDT 2015