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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dahalik: an endangered language or a Tigre variety?
Author:Idris, Saleh Mahmud
Periodical:Journal of Eritrean Studies (Asmara)
Geographic term:Eritrea
Subjects:Tigré language
Abstract:This article is a preliminary report of a sociolinguistic study of Dahalik, a language variety spoken in the islands of Dahlak, 58 kilometres East of Massawa, Eritrea, in the Red Sea. In order to determine whether Dahalik is a dialect of the Tigre language or a distinctive language, the author compares Dahalik as spoken on the islands with various Tigre dialects in terms of lexical similarities, mutual intelligibility, and grammatical features. In addition, he compares varieties of Dahalik spoken on the different islands. Speakers' perceptions and attitudes towards their own language and other languages in the region are also examined, as are issues like language maintenance and language shift. Both the linguistic and the sociolinguistic findings of the preliminary study seem to indicate that Dahalik may not be a dialect of the Tigre language. The author concludes that Dahalik is the single most endangered linguistic variety of Eritrea. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]