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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Language maintenance : a sociolinguistic study of female Tibetan immigrant youths in Toronto, Canada Ghoso, Dawa Bhuti


This thesis explores language maintenance and shift among female Tibetan immigrant youths in Toronto, Canada. It considers the various factors affecting language shift and maintenance such as pre-migration experience such as residence and educational history, linguistic repertoires, domains of language use, institutional support factors such as exposure to media and attitude to native language. Data from a survey questionnaire is analysed to inform the research with supplementary information provided from interviews. The thesis demonstrates that language shift from Tibetan to English is taking place among the respondents. First language (L1) oracy is receding in its function towards personal domains while L1 literacy is at a critical stage where the shift is more pronounced and it seems that it was already underway before the female Tibetans youths came to Canada. The only domain, where Tibetan language seems to be well maintained is in the personal domains of home, speaking to parents and in religious activities. Code switching and a new dialect formation or koineisation is taking place among the Tibetan in Diaspora

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