Language Shift: Causes And Differences

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Causes of language shift To become an official language of an country, a language must be affected by many factors in which the country’s culture and history are definitely included. Furthermore, in different nations, the process of establishing a language is absolutely not the same. As a consequence, causes language shift is flexible and somehow interchangeable. Mesthrie (1994, p. 1989) and Mesthrie and Leap (2000, p. 254-8) recommend that four main roots of language shift consist of economic factors, demographic factors, institutional support and status. This paper will explore 3 sets of factors contributing to language shift that Holmes (2008) suggests. They are economic, social, and political factors; demographic factors; attitudes and…show more content…
Besides, the phenomenon of globalization results in working overseas become less and less complicated and many countries have imposed increasingly open economic and political policies, everybody in this modern society recognize the importance of being able to speak several languages. Holmes (2008, p.65) states that getting well-paid jobs is the most obvious economic reason for learning another language. People in this modern society are aware of the importance of affluence, they all want be well-being and have to living standard. In order to fulfill their need, they will constantly learn and progress. In some cases, a number of learners who are familiar with their foreign language environment will definitely use the language they are learning in order to make rapid progress, and this leads to the event of bilingualism.“ Bilingualism is always a necessary precursor of language shift, although, as stable diglossic communities demonstrate, it does not always result in shift” (Holmes, 2008, p.65). Bilinguals is not only successful in their career but they can also communicate well with others which can help them understand their colleagues more and make more friends in working…show more content…
Community seems to unconsciously ignore their ethnic language as they suppose that they all speak it and it will naturally exist in daily life. However, Holmes (2008) claims that without active language maintenance, shift is nearly unavoidable in many contexts especially when a migrant minority group moves to a predominantly monolingual society in which all domains just speak one language (p.65). In order to protect the endangered language, all citizens in the minority groups have to be conscious of their ethnic language and find solutions to preserve it in an active way. Otherwise, the ethnic language cannot survive in such an environment that everybody uses the dominant language. For instance, a group of New Zealanders emigrates to the States where English is used in all situations. If this group chooses to speak English in order to fulfill social and economic goals, their ethnic language – Maori is less and less used and not consciously maintained, then it will consequently become
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