Language Shift and Maintenance in a Diglossia Environment with Its Educational Implications: A Case Study
The study sheds light on some fundamental sociolinguistic concepts such as bilingualism and diglossia, language shift and language maintenance with particular reference to the Amish context. After depicting a general picture of the Amish society, the study expands on bilingualism and diglossia in the Amish community. The factors that cause language maintenance and language shift/lossare discussed in detail under the light of relevant literature. Based upon Conklin and Lourie’s (1983) comprehensive taxonomy of factors affecting language maintenance and language shift, “Amish Pennsylvania German” is evaluated. Further reasons for the long survival of the Amish society are discussed. The last section is particularly allocated to “How could the Amish society succeed in maintaining their language and identity?” By and large, current findings substantiate that along with their tremendous efforts to isolate themselves from the outer English speaking world, the diglossia situation has helped the Amish to protect their language and identity without exposure to language shift in the midst of their bilingual environment.
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