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Ọlátúnjí, Adékúnmi (2023) 'Reflections on how Family Language Policies have contributed to language shift among Yorùbás in London.' SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics, 21. pp. 64-82.

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Abstract

This paper presents a small-scale, qualitative, interview-based investigation into Yorùbá families’ language policies, according to the tripartite model of practice, management, and beliefs. The objective was to determine factors that have resulted in the second- generation of Yorùbá in London not being active speakers of their heritage language. Findings suggest that first-generation parents were not intentional about transmitting Yorùbá to the next generation because they did not perceive any value in language maintenance. Language management was primarily confined to safeguarding English; any explicit Yorùbá policies were not sustained, and a laissez-faire management style arose as a theme. As a result, the home was not an environment that supported the development of Yorùbá. In terms of language practices, the quantity and quality of language input was sufficient for the second-generation to acquire rudimentary working knowledge of Yorùbá, however because participants felt no impetus to speak their mother’s tongue, English was adopted as their 'mother tongue'. Beliefs about language were largely centred around economic principles where value was ascribed on the basis of the ability to create numerous and economically prosperous connections. The value and utility of Yorùbá to create connections with culture and heritage has only begun to be considered important in the wake of a recent attitude shift.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Heritage Languages, Yorùbá, Family Language Policy, Language Shift
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 14730855
Copyright Statement: © 2023, the author.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00040384
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2023 16:14
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/40384

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