Language attitudes and use in the Innu community of Sheshatshiu, Labrador

Thorburn, Jennifer (2006) Language attitudes and use in the Innu community of Sheshatshiu, Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The Innu community of Sheshatshiu, Labrador, is one of an increasingly few groups in which children learn an Aboriginal language at home and enter school speaking little or no English; however, little sociolinguistic research has been conducted on its linguistic situation. Research on language attitudes and use in other Aboriginal communities shows that most of Canada's Aboriginal languages are in decline. Given this precedent, it seems likely that the language of Sheshatshiu would also be endangered and that English would be regarded as the prestige language. -- To determine if this is the case, a questionnaire was administered by inside interviewers to a random stratified sample of 129 men and women, looking at a variety of topics, including prestige, language change and loss, language of instruction in school and patterns of language usage. Data were analysed statistically to determine whether any of the four variables considered (age, education, gender and occupation) had an effect on participants' responses. Results indicate that the Sheshatshiu Innu generally value their language, use it in daily life and are trying to balance cultural preservation with the need to speak a majority language to communicate with the outside world.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11542
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 179-190.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2006
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Language attrition--Newfoundland and Labrador--Sheshatshiu; Montagnais language--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador --Sheshatshiu.

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