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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Schools, marriage, and the endangerment of the Nagu language in the Solomon Islands
by Emerine, Rachel Dorlene, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2009, 169; 1481584
Abstract (Summary)

The number of spoken languages throughout the world is steadily decreasing, as children do not learn the language of their parents, resulting in endangered and lost languages. The Nagu language in the Solomon Islands is an example of such a threatened language. The goal of this thesis is to explain the reasons behind the endangerment of Nagu.

With the introduction of schools in the last generation, Solomon Islands Pijin is spoken widely in domains once dominated by Nagu, especially the home. For many generations, Nagu speakers intermarried with speakers of other languages and learned each other's languages. Now with the knowledge of Pijin from school, it is no longer necessary to learn Nagu. Instead, parents in mixed marriages primarily speak Pijin with one another and with their children. This results in children who speak Pijin as a primary language.

This thesis explains the findings caused by this generational shift pattern. It also explores other factors affecting the endangerment of Nagu including the Nagu speakers' perceptions of the language and identity tied to it. Finally, it makes some recommendations for possible language preservation should the Nagu speakers choose to work to maintain their Nagu language.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: LeMaster, Barbara
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Cultural anthropology, Educational sociology
Publication Number: 1481584
ISBN: 978-1-109-65778-4
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