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The relationship between heritage language fluency loss and the cultural value of filial duty : an Indo-Canadian Hindu perspective

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The relationship between heritage language fluency loss and the cultural value of filial duty : an Indo-Canadian Hindu perspective

Kumar, Nootan (2005) The relationship between heritage language fluency loss and the cultural value of filial duty : an Indo-Canadian Hindu perspective. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

It is common belief that language and culture are inexorably linked (Edwards, 1997), yet the precise nature of this relationship remains elusive. This study investigated one hypothesis about this relationship, that a loss in language signals a loss in culture if language is considered a central value (Smolicz, 1985). This hypothesis was tested by examining whether Hindi represents a central value to the North-Indian culture in Canada and thus predicts its loss or maintenance in this context. The relationship between language and culture was investigated by rating the Hindi (L1) and English (L2) proficiency of 30 first- and second-generation Indo-Canadian Hindi speakers (15 parent-child pairs) and correlating these to their reactions to culturally-charged scenarios in a matched-guise task (featuring English and Hindi versions of the same scenario recorded by the same speaker). The scenarios targeted one aspect of North-Indian culture---the value of filial duty---in two contexts (marriage, career). It was hypothesized that if language loss triggered culture loss, then speakers losing their L1 (second-generation speakers), but not those maintaining it (first-generation speakers), would react to scenarios differently according to language. Findings revealed that a language shift has taken place in the North-Indian community and that the beginnings of a cultural shift in filial duty are underway, which may or may not be mediated by this language shift. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to heritage language and culture maintenance, the language-culture relationship, the South Asian diaspora, Canada's multiculturalism policy, and other issues including group identity construction

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kumar, Nootan
Pagination:xvi, 214 leaves : ill., forms ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Education
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gatbonton, Elizabeth
ID Code:8542
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:28
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:28
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