Heritage Language Domains and Attrition Index: A Case of Central Subanons

Jay D Telen

Abstract


This descriptive-ethnographic study aimed to determine the Central Subanen heritage language lexical attrition vis-à-vis its domains of use among the 376 Subanons in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. The Activation Threshold Hypothesis of Paradis (2007) cited by Schmid and Jarvis (2014) serves as the foundation of the present undertaking. Results of the study revealed that the Subanen language was used very frequently at home. Moreover, it disclosed that the Central Subanons differed significantly on the use of the Subanen language in some domains across age groupings, sex, and educational attainment. The nouns were safe; the adverbs, adjectives and verbs were potentially endangered linguistic components. Consequently, the lexical attrition of Central Subanen content words is less probable despite the significant relationship between the two variables under study. Furthermore, as the Central Subanons grow older, the language attrition index increases. Hence, the heritage language would survive as it has remained the language preference at home.

Keywords: heritage language, language domains, language attrition, Central Subanen, Central Subanon

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References


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