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ERIC Number: EJ857330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-1479-0718
Changing Livelihoods, Language Use and Language Shift amongst Basarwa of Botswana
Mafela, Lily
International Journal of Multilingualism, v6 n3 p229-245 Aug 2009
This study explores the historical relationship between the languages of Basarwa of Botswana and Setswana, in order to understand the dynamics underpinning their appropriation of the Setswana language, as they adjust to their changing livelihoods. The study contributes towards the promotion of a better understanding and awareness of the issues of language shift and language use amongst Basarwa. Basarwa occupy the lowest rungs of the social ladder in Botswana. Due to the close association between the status of the people and the status of their language, the Basarwa languages accordingly rank low in use and status nationally (Andersson & Janson, 2004, p. 118; Batibo, 2005, p. 71). Like the other minority languages, the Basarwa languages also have a low status and a low prestige in education and in written discourse. Moreover, the study observes that in their quest to mediate their socio-economic marginalisation, Basarwa have had to appropriate Setswana, the dominant national language for survival. However, their appropriation of the Setswana Language has had deleterious effects on their languages and overall socio-cultural identity. In this context, the nationally dominant Setswana language not only dominates public discourse, but also official spoken discourse as well, while English dominates official written discourse (Andersson & Janson, 1993, pp. 83-84). The sources used to guide this analysis include secondary material, official and unofficial documents, as well as the author's own observations, as a Motswana and an educationist. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Botswana