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Volume :22 Issue : 87 2004      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Language Maintenance or Shift? An Ethnographic Investigation of the Use of Farsi among Kuwaiti Ajams: A Case Study

Auther : AbdulMohsen Dashti

It is widely acknowledged by sociolinguists that when minority groups and their respective languages come into contact with a majority group, choices of a language or a variety of language are deployed by different participants in different social contexts according to interlocutors, settings etc. Literature on dialect contact scenarios suggests that in contact situation, changes may influence the phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon of minority (and majority) groups. A relevant kind of linguistic change to the present study is the gradual movement away from the habitual use of an ethnic language to the use of the majority language.

This study was meant to verify and shed more light on Kuwaiti Ajams use Farsi and to investigate the extent to which they have shifted to Kuwaiti Arabic or maintained Farsi. Implicational scales were provided, showing patterns of language choice among two Kuwaiti Ajam Families living in two different neighborhood. Their choices were then examined through analysing their social networks. moreover, the analysis clearly indicates that shift from Farsi to KA had already occurred among the grandchildren’s generation of Family 2. Consequently, it could be argued that Farsi in Kuwait is likely to be extinct within the next one or two generations.

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Dec 08, 2019

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