OLAC Record

Title:Sociolinguistic Surveys in Selected Kenyan Languages: The Boni/Dahalo Report

A survey of Boni (Eastern Cushitic) and Dahalo (Southern Cushitic) located in the Lamu District, Kenya was carried out by SIL researchers Art Rilling and Eric Graham during September 22-29, 1985. Their purpose was to assess the need and also the desires of Boni and Dahalo speakers to develop literature in their languages. The research sought to estimate (1) linguistic relatedness of Boni, Dahalo, and Bajuni, (2) multilingualism in Swahili and Somali, and (3) the desire and potential of each group to use literature in its respective mother tongue. Methods employed included word list comparisons, questionnaires, and interviews

All Boni interviewees expressed a "need" to read literature in their mother tongue, primarily so that children could be educated in the language to preserve it.

Dahalo interviewees are unopposed to seeing literature developed in their language, since benefits of doing so include preserving their language and making it known to others. But there is little interest, perhaps because of the reported proficiency of the Dahalo community in Swahili, which is perceived by them to be the most important language and one that is already used by Dahalo speakers more than their mother tongue.

All Boni and Dahalo interviewees spoke Swahili. Monolingualism in Boni reportedly exists for all age groups in forested areas. Thirty-five percent of Boni-speaking interviewees claimed also to speak Somali. Dahalo interviewees reported that there are few monolingual Dahalo speakers, all elders.

No Dahalo speakers interviewed had learned to read, whereas almost half of Boni interviewees were literate in Swahili.

[This 1986 report has not been peer-reviewed but instead, an update by Manasseh Wekunda, was requested and is included with this report. Mr. Wekunda is the Task Assessment Officer of Bible Translation and Literacy, Kenya. Editor]

Contributor (author):Rilling, Art
Date (W3CDTF):1986
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/50904
Extent:32 pages
Identifier (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/50904
Is Part Of:SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2012-037
Language (ISO639):eng
Publisher:SIL International
Spatial Coverage (ISO3166):KE
Subject:Aweer language
Dahalo language
Language surveys
Subject (ISO639):bob
Type (DCMI):Text


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:50904
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Rilling, Art. 1986. SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2012-037.
Terms: area_Africa area_Europe country_GB country_KE dcmi_Text iso639_bob iso639_dal iso639_eng

Inferred Metadata

Country: Kenya
Area: Africa

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 4:46:34 EDT 2015