Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 3, No 3 (2009)

Language Shift: A Case Study of Ghana

Kofi Agyekum
Issued Date: 2 Jun 2010

Abstract


This paper discusses language shift in Ghana from two perspectives. The first will be language shift from a Ghanaian language to English which is the official language. The second category will be the shift from one or two Ghanaian languages to a third Ghanaian language that has become a lingua franca of an area. The paper will define language shift, and discuss the factors that bring about language shift in general and Ghana in particular. We will look at language shift that are societal and based on governmental and institutional policies and others that are individual and based on people’s negative or positive attitudes to certain languages and also for practical reasons on communication.
The paper further discusses the characteristics and major features of languages that are being shifted. It will look at major areas where language shift is predominant and focus on politics, parliament and the judiciary, the electronic media, education, commerce, advertising, migratory and settlement patterns. The paper will look at the problems with language shift and resistance to language shift and provide suggestions that can be employed to reduce or curb language shift.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v3i3.381

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