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Linguistic Marginalization - Understanding the Process and Effects on Development Capacities

3,5-year project financed by the Swedish Research Council (U-forsk).
Researcher: Tove Rosendal

The project is a sociolinguistic study which links language use and development issues. It aims at identifying the reasons behind code-switching, the alternation between Ngoni and Swahili, in the Ruvuma Region in southwestern Tanzania. Swahili, which is used in formal domains and which since Independence has been promoted as a lingua franca, is used all over Tanzania, even in rural areas and within family. Today, 95 per cent of the population is estimated to speak Swahili.

Language use may form an important identity marker when cultures meet. How languages are used thus has symbolic value and identity is created through these symbolic systems. Code-switching between Ngoni and Swahili may be seen both as a sign of language loss and as a communication strategy. Therefore, an important issue is if code-switching shows that the Ngoni no longer can express themselves in their mother tongue or if code-switching marks ethnic or individual identity. Do the Ngoni lose their identity in this process or are possibly new identities developed?

The study uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Oral recordings of Ngoni, both of groups and of individuals, in different settings and different age groups, are analyzed. These are supplemented by focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews.

Contact Information

Tove Rosendal

Box 200, 405 30 Götborg

Visiting Address:
Lundgrensgatan 7, H611

Phone:
+46 (0) 31 786 1814

Page Manager: Annika Andersson|Last update: 6/26/2015
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