Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Attitudes Toward Languages in Nairobi

Fink, Teresa Kathleen (2005) Attitudes Toward Languages in Nairobi. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


Claims of a shift in attitudes toward indigenous, national and European languages in Africa have raised concerns of drastic language shift and consequent language death. In addition to these languages, certain African urban centers in recent decades have seen the birth of youth hybrid languages, which function as in-group markers, as well as tools for negotiating between the conflicting demands of tradition and modernity. In Nairobi Kenya, the youth language is known as Sheng. Attitudes toward Sheng as well as toward the indigenous, national and European language in Kenya are studied through survey research, examining difference between age groups, genders and socioeconomic classes. The data confirms claims of attitude shift. While English is the language gaining the strongest allegiance among the youth, Kenyans of all ages recognize the growing importance of Sheng. In the light of the history of similar languages, the positive attitudes of the youth toward Sheng can be considered a symptom of the gradual death of the indigenous languages.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fink, Teresa Kathleentkf1@pitt.eduTKF1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKiesling, Scottkiesling@pitt.eduKIESLING
Committee MemberHuang,
Committee MemberGooden, Shelomesgooden@pitt.eduSGOODEN
Date: 7 June 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 April 2005
Approval Date: 7 June 2005
Submission Date: 21 April 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: code-switching; language contact; multilingual speech community; secret languages; adolescent culture; mixed languages
Other ID:, etd-04212005-121428
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:39
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item