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La vitalité de la langue balante-ganja au Sénégal

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Christina Thornell
Publicerad i SIL Electronic Survey Reports
Volym 2019
Nummer/häfte 12
Sidor 55
ISSN 1559-1417
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för språk och litteraturer
Sidor 55
Språk fr
Länkar https://www.sil.org/system/files/re...
Ämnesord Atlantic languages, balante-ganja, Sénégal, language vitality, language endangerment
Ämneskategorier Afrikanska språk


The present study focuses on the vitality of the Balanta-Ganja language in Senegal (ISO 639-3, [bjt]). The language is spoken by the two ethnic Balanta sub-groups, Ganja and Blip. The number of speakers is estimated at 100,000 (Leclerc 2015a). Simons and Fennig (2017d) class the status of the language as “developing” but this classification is not based on a field study. Since no such study has been done, this current study is justified.The first analysis was based on the Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS) model developed by Lewis and Simons (2010). Therefore, we found it appropriate to follow the same model. We have done this in combination with the UNESCO model (2003). In total, seven factors have been taken into account, among which the factor of intergenerational language transmission is the most crucial one because, without passing on the language to the younger generation, this next generation will have no speakers. Without new speakers, the Balanta-Ganja language will cease to exist. The study is based on data gathered primarily during our fieldwork in the Balantacounda region in November of 2016. Seven towns/villages of diverse sociolinguistic character were visited. The methods applied are participation-observation, interviews with key individuals in the society and a questionnaire on the practices of Balanta-Ganja and that of the other languages spoken in the region. The target group of the questionnaire was students. Two hundred eighty nine students in either the first year of secondary school or the final year of primary school, completed the survey.The results of the analysis indicate that the vitality of Balanta-Ganja as a “developing” language, as suggested by Simons and Fennig (2017d), match our analysis only in part. Its status as “developing” is appropriate in the villages with a more homogeneous Balanta population. However, in the villages with a heterogeneous population representing different first languages, its status is actually “vigorous” or even “threatened”, despite the fact that the language has been codified and that the linguistic development of the language, its literature and its use are supported by the government. The decline of its vitality is slow; therefore it will take time before this decline becomes evident to the Balanta-Ganja population.

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