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Title:The Dynamics of Language Use Among Rural and Urban Kenyan Youths
Author(s):Muaka, Leonard
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Eyamba Bokamba
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Speech Communication
Abstract:Although indigenous languages do not hold prestigious status in formal domains, I show that they, including Sheng, are viewed as being legitimate by their speakers in the informal domains. In the end I argue that while English is indisputably dominant in the official domains it is not embraced as a Kenyan identity marker. The findings of this study further demonstrate that on one hand, the Kenyan participants that were investigated have attachment to their indigenous languages because of emotional and cultural reasons, but that they also recognize the importance of English as an instrumental language in official domains and outside the Kenyan speech community. Finally, I argue that in the current Kenyan language situation there is no adequate evidence to suggest the presence of eminent language shift especially in the rural areas. In the urban areas, Sheng serves as a middle ground between the official and the indigenous languages for the youths. However, the vitality and robustness of the local languages which enhance stable multilingualism will depend on the kind of multilingual language policies that are pursued.
Issue Date:2009
Description:326 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3363044
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2009

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