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Understanding the function dimension of language endangerment with specific evidence from Runyakitara

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  • UserFridah Katushemererwe, Department of Linguistics, English Language Studies and Communication Skills Makerere University
  • ClockWednesday 18 November 2015, 17:15-19:00
  • HouseFaculty of English, Room GR-04.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Afra Pujol i Campeny.

Recent research efforts on documenting, preserving and revitalising endangered languages of the world have been devoted to languages which are on the verge of extinction, giving limited attention to languages with a considerable number of speakers but whose existence is threatened. This talk presents another dimension of language endangerment highlighting specifically what needs to be understood under this strand of language endangerment. Using Runyakitara as a case, the talk sheds more light on how a language can be threatened when its functions are not appreciated by its speakers. The talk presents the status of Runyakitara languages in Uganda and why they are threatened despite the large number of speakers. The presentation is illustrated by two case studies which evaluate mother tongue education policy in Uganda.

(Runyakitara is a name for four closely related languages spoken in Uganda by approximately five million speakers.)

This talk is part of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group series.

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