Application of the vitality test on small languages: The case of Suba in Kenya

Show simple item record Ogone, John O. Matu, Peter M. 2018-11-16T06:43:50Z 2018-11-16T06:43:50Z 2013
dc.identifier.issn 0856-0056
dc.description.abstract As yet, there is no conclusive framework with which the state of the world’s languages may be assessed, even when the literature features a strong constellation of the factors1 that underlie language loss or maintenance. This has probably meant, in the case of assessing revitalizations, that language vitality metrics are used as a scale in defining success or failure with a given language revival programme. As intervention mechanisms, language revitalizations are especially of great interest to Linguists because their outcomes add to what needs to be known about the phenomenon that is language loss. With “small languages”2 (be they endangered or safe), the application of the vitality diagnostics in reporting on their state appears to lead inevitably to the conclusion that they remain unsafe. This paper seeks to report on some difficulties experienced in applying the existing indices of language vitality in assessing the sociolinguistic state of Suba language of Kenya after some revivalist efforts were employed on it. It is observed, among other things, that parameters of assessing vitality or endangerment designed for “big” languages should never (as they are) be used in the assessment of the sociolinguistic status of small languages. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title Application of the vitality test on small languages: The case of Suba in Kenya en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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