Language dominance and shift among Kalhuri Kurdish speakers in the multilingual context of Iran
Linguistic suicide or linguicide?
The current language policy and planning of many countries still adhere to the nation-state ideology of “one nation equals one official language”. This issue is likely to cause the linguistic minority groups to devalue or even abandon their own mother tongue and identify with the official language of the country. A case in point is Iran where Persian is the only official language and other languages are merely tolerated, but not promoted. The principal aim of this study is to find factors that lead Kalhuri Kurdish people to choose to speak with their children in Persian at the risk of losing their native language, a phenomenon which may happen as a result of linguistic/language suicide or because of linguicide. Therefore, a researcher-designed and validated questionnaire was administered to 384 Kalhuri Kurdish parents. The results indicated that the language policy and planning in Iran has made Kalhuri parents use Persian in interactions with their children instead of using their own vernacular, Kalhuri. The sociolinguistic implications of the study are discussed in the light of the research findings.
Keywords: language planning, linguistic suicide, linguicide, language dominance, Kalhuri Kurdish speakers
Published online: 12 July 2021
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