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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The maintenance of Maale in Ethiopia
Author:Van Aswegen, KobusISNI
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:Omotic languages
language change
Abstract:For centuries Maale, a minority language spoken in the Omo region of Ethiopia, has been in contact with Amharic, the dominant language and the language of wider communication in Ethiopia. In spite of this prolonged contact situation, there is little evidence of a language shift taking place in the Maale speech community. This paper gives an account of the underlying social factors that have contributed to the maintenance of the Maale language. It first gives an outline of approaches and concepts in the study of language maintenance and shift: ethnolinguistic vitality, language ecology approach, social mobilization, and social network theory. Then it discusses research findings which indicate that a strong sense of Maale nationalism, resistance to Amharization, political organization, immigration and emigration patterns, an attitude of cultural superiority together with Maale social networks play an important role in the maintenance of the language. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]