Browsing by Author "Nahayo, Sylvia"
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Results Per Page
- ItemConstruction of linguistic identities among cross-border communities: The case of Samia of Uganda and Samia of Kenya(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2017-03) Nahayo, Sylvia; Oostendorp, Marcelyn; Southwood, Frenette; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation investigated the discursive identity construction of a community who is separated by a national border. The town of Busia cuts across the Ugandan/Kenyan border and the community language is considered to be Lusamia. The study used ethnographic methods to investigate how speakers of Lusamia on both sides of the border construct their linguistic identities in relation to their own linguistic repertoires and the linguistic repertoires of others. My theoretical interest in this was sparked by a gap in the literature, namely, that most studies which investigate language and identity construction within multilinguals focus on urban communities. Although early sociolinguistic studies within the ethnographic tradition, focused on rural communities (Gumperz 1971, 1964; Hymes 1962, 1964), recently the city has become the most frequently studied setting for multilingualism. My study builds on a small (but growing) body of research on contemporary multilingualism in rural African communities (see for example Banda and Jimaima 2015); Deumert and Mabandla 2013). Against this backdrop, I examined how speakers of Lusamia that live in a rural community and are multilingual negotiate different linguistic identities just like their counterparts in the urban centers. My study will thus turn the attention (back) on the everyday linguistic practices of a rural, multilingual community within an African context. Data for this study were collected using various ethnographically informed methods. The data collection instruments included observations, interviews and a survey of the linguistic landscape. Linguistic landscapes are defined as ―the language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, etc.‖ (Landry and Bourhis, 1997: 25). Data were collected over a period of 12 months and analysed through thematic analysis (Starks and Trinidad, 2007). Two major themes emerged, that is: multilingualism as linguistic repertoire and the interplay of language, spacialisation and identity. Findings from this study suggest that participants typically have a range of linguistic resources in their repertoire. These linguistic resources are used differently by the speakers depending on the situation they are in. Sometimes the lack of the required linguistic resources(s) in a particular situation may exclude the speaker or lead to failure in communication. Furthermore, as Busch (2012) observes, the linguistic repertoire does not only include actual linguistic varieties used, but also ideologies about language. In the two countries in which Lusamia is spoken (Kenya and Uganda), different linguistic resources may be used or understood. This interaction of the different linguistic resources with Lusamia explains the subtle differences in accent and word choice in the speech of participants on both sides of the border. These differences are constructed as the distinguishing features between the Ugandan and Kenyan varieties of Samia. Thus as Samia speakers engage in various activities that call for use of different linguistic resources, they constantly negotiate different linguistic identities. Furthermore, the identity of Samia speakers is very much a multilingual one. Even rituals evolving major milestones or major events (birth, marriage, death) are performed through the use of heteroglossic meaning-making resources. In view of the results, I suggest that more research into language and identity needs to take a multilingual, spatial perspective