Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0272-2690
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9889
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The current language policy and planning of many countries still adhere to the nation-state ideology of “one nation equals one official language”. This issue is likely to cause the linguistic minority groups to devalue or even abandon their own mother tongue and identify with the official language of the country. A case in point is Iran where Persian is the only official language and other languages are merely tolerated, but not promoted. The principal aim of this study is to find factors that lead Kalhuri Kurdish people to choose to speak with their children in Persian at the risk of losing their native language, a phenomenon which may happen as a result of linguistic/language suicide or because of linguicide. Therefore, a researcher-designed and validated questionnaire was administered to 384 Kalhuri Kurdish parents. The results indicated that the language policy and planning in Iran has made Kalhuri parents use Persian in interactions with their children instead of using their own vernacular, Kalhuri. The sociolinguistic implications of the study are discussed in the light of the research findings.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aronin, L.
    (2015) Current multilingualism and new developments in multilingualism research. InP. Safont Jordà & L. Portolés Falomir (Eds.), Learning and using multiple languages. Current findings from research on multilingualism (pp.1–28). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bani-Shoraka, Helena
    (2002) The Iranian language policy of the twentieth century: the case of Azerbaijani in Tehran. InAnnika Rabo & Bo Utas. (Eds.), the role of the state in west Asia, 141–150. Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Batibo, M.
    (2005) Language decline and death in Africa: Causes, consequences, and challenges. Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853598104
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853598104 [Google Scholar]
  4. Beck, D. and Lam, Y.
    (2011) Language loss and linguistic suicide: A case study from the Sierra Norte de Puebla, Mexico. InSarah Cummins, Brigit Janoski, and Patricia A. Shaw. (Eds.), All the Things You Are: A Festschrift for Jack Chambers, 5–16. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bhatia, T. and Ritchie, W.
    (2012) The Handbook of Bilingualism. 2nd ed.Multilingual Matters. 10.1002/9781118332382
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118332382 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cenoz, J., & Gorter, D.
    (2015) Towards a Holistic approach in the study of multilingual education. InJ. Cenoz & D. Gorter. (Eds.), Multilingual education: Between language learning and translanguaging (pp.1–15). Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Chevalier, Sarah
    2015 Trilingual Language Acquisition. Contextual Factors Influencing Active Trilingualism in Early Childhood. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tilar.16
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tilar.16 [Google Scholar]
  8. Bradley, D.
    (2019) Language policy and language planning in mainland Southeast Asia: Myanmar and Lisu. Linguistics Vanguard, 5(1), 1–8. doi:  10.1515/lingvan‑2018‑0071
    https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0071 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cahill, M.
    (1999) From endangered to less endangered: Case histories from Brazil and Papua New Guinea. Notes on sociolinguistics, 5, 23–34.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Chevalier, S.
    (2015) Trilingual language acquisition. Contextual factors influencing active trilingualism in early childhood. Univeristy of Zurich Publication. 10.1075/tilar.16
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tilar.16 [Google Scholar]
  11. Clingingsmith, D.
    (2006) Bilingualism, Language Shift, and Economic Development in India, 1931–1961. Department of Economics Harvard University, Retrieved fromwww.Harvard.edu/fs/docs/icbfiles/Clingingsmith_061031.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  12. (2008) Industrialization, Bilingualism, and Linguistic Heterogeneity in the Mid-20 Century in India. Department of Economics Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved fromfaculty.weatherhead.case.edu/clingingsmith/dlc_language.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  13. (2007) Bilingualism, Language Shift and Industrialization The in Mid-20 Century in IndiaDepartment of Economics Case Western Reserve UniversityRetrieved fromwww.econ.ucla.edu/workshops/papers/history/clingingsmith_language_12nov08.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Coulmas, F.
    (2009) Linguistic landscaping and the seed of the public sphere. InE. Shohamy & D. Gorter. (Eds.), Linguistic landscape: Expanding the scenery, 13–24. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Crystal, D.
    (2014) Language Death. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139923477
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139923477 [Google Scholar]
  16. Crawford, J.
    (2000) Endangered Native American languages: What is to be done, and why?InRicento and Burnaby. (Eds.), Language and politics in the U.S. and Canada: Myths and realities. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 10.21832/9781853596766‑005
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853596766-005 [Google Scholar]
  17. (1995a) Seven hypotheses on language loss: Causes and cures. Paper adapted from a speech atthe second symposium on stabilizing indigenous languages. Northern Arizona University.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. (1995b) Endangered Native American languages: What is to be done and why?The Bilingual Research Journal, 19(1), 17–38. 10.1080/15235882.1995.10668589
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15235882.1995.10668589 [Google Scholar]
  19. Comanaru & Dewaele
    (2015) A bright future for interdisciplinary multilingualism research. International Journal of Multilingualism. Vol, 12(4). doi:  10.1080/14790718.2015.1071016
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2015.1071016 [Google Scholar]
  20. Denison, N.
    (1977) Language death or language suicide?International Journal of the Sociology of Language12, 13–22.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Fishman, J. A.
    (2001a) Can Threatened Languages Be Saved?Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853597060
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853597060 [Google Scholar]
  22. (2006) Do Not Leave Your Language Alone: The Hidden Status Agendas Within Corpus Planning in Language Policy. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 10.4324/9780203825808
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203825808 [Google Scholar]
  23. Fuller, J. M.
    (2013) Spanish Speakers in the USA. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Garzon, S.
    (1992) The process of language death in a Mayan community in Southern Mexico. International Journal of the Sociology of Language9, 53–66. 10.1515/ijsl.1992.93.53
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.1992.93.53 [Google Scholar]
  25. Genesee, F.
    (2012) Simultaneous language acquisition. Encyclopedia of language and literacy development. Retrieved fromhttp: //www.Literacy encyclopedia.ca.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Goodfellow, A. M.
    (Ed.) (2009) Speaking of Endangered Languages: Issues in Revitalization. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Grenoble, L. A. and Whaley, L. J.
    (1998b) Toward a typology of language endangerment. InL. A. Grenoble and L. J. Whaley. (Eds.), endangered languages: language loss and community response. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139166959.003
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166959.003 [Google Scholar]
  28. (2006) Saving languages: An Introduction to language revitalization. Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Hassanpour, A.
    (1992) Nationalism and language in Kurdistan. Mellon Research University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Hassanpour, A., Sheyholislami, J. & Skutnabb-Kangas, T.
    (2012) Introduction. Kurdish: Linguicide, resistance and hope. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, (217), 1–18. 10.1515/ijsl‑2012‑0047
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2012-0047 [Google Scholar]
  31. Hornberger, N. H.
    (2002) Multilingual language policies and the continua of biliteracy: An ecological approach. Language Policy, 1(1), 27–51. 10.1023/A:1014548611951
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014548611951 [Google Scholar]
  32. (Ed.) (2003) Continua of Biliteracy: An Ecological Framework for Educational Policy, Research and Practice in Multilingual Settings. Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853596568
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853596568 [Google Scholar]
  33. Hornberger, N. H., & Skilton-Sylvester, E.
    (2000) Revisiting the continua of biliteracy: International and critical perspectives. Language and Education: An International Journal, 14(2), 96–122. 10.1080/09500780008666781
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09500780008666781 [Google Scholar]
  34. Hough, D. A. & Skutnabb-Kangas, T.
    (2005) Beyond Good Intentions: Combating, Linguistic Genocide in Education. Alternative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 1(1), 106–127. 10.1177/117718010500100107
    https://doi.org/10.1177/117718010500100107 [Google Scholar]
  35. Huang, B. H. and Kuo, L. J.
    (2020) The role of input in bilingual children’s language and literacy development: Introduction to the Special Issue. International Journal of BilingualismVol.24(1), 3–7. 10.1177/1367006918768369
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006918768369 [Google Scholar]
  36. Huebner, T.
    (1987) A socio-historical approach to literacy development: A comparative case study from the Pacific. InJ. A. Langer. (Ed.), Language, literacy, and culture: Issues of society and schooling. (pp.178–196). Ablex Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Illman, V., & Pietilä, P.
    (2018)  Multilingualism as a resource in the foreign language classroom. ELT Journal,72(3), 237-248. 10.1093/elt/ccx073
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccx073 [Google Scholar]
  38. Jahani C.
    (2014) The Baloch as an Ethnic Group in the Persian Gulf Region. In: Potter L.G. (eds) The Persian Gulf in Modern Times. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. doi:  10.1057/9781137485779_11
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137485779_11 [Google Scholar]
  39. Jones, M. C.
    (1998) Language obsolescence and revitalization: linguistic change in two sociolinguistically contrasting Welsh communities. Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Kalan, A.
    (2016) Who is Afraid of Multilingual Education in Iran? Conversation with Tove Skutnab-Kangas, Jim Cummins, Ajit Mohanty and Stephen Bahry about the Iranian Context and Beyond. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Kazzazi, K.
    (2011) Ich brauche mix-cough: cross-linguistic influence involving German, English and Farsi. International Journal of Multilingualism, 8(1), 63-79. doi:  10.1080/14790711003671879
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14790711003671879 [Google Scholar]
  42. Krauss, Michael
    (1992) The world’s languages in crisis. Language68, 4–10. 10.1353/lan.1992.0075
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1992.0075 [Google Scholar]
  43. Kragujevac, F.
    (2006) Questioning macrosociological accounts of language maintenance: peasants, rock and roll, and church lunches. Linguistics and Literature, 4(1), 33–46.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Krejcie, R.V. & Morgan, D.W.
    (1970) Determining sample size for research activities. Educational & Psychological Measurement, 30, 607-610. 10.1177/001316447003000308
    https://doi.org/10.1177/001316447003000308 [Google Scholar]
  45. Kulick, D.
    (1994) Language shift and cultural change. Paper presented atLa Trobe University, Australian Linguistic Institute on language maintenance and shift. Victoria, Australia.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Mackay. W. F.
    (1989) Determining the status and function of languages in multinational societies. InU. Ammon (Ed.), Status and function of languages and language varieties. (pp.3-20) New York: Walter deGruyter. 10.1515/9783110860252.3
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110860252.3 [Google Scholar]
  47. Mansour, G.
    (1993) Multilingualism and national building. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. May, S.
    (2012) Language and minority rights: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Politics of Language. 2nd Edition. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Mcnulty, S. J.
    (2018) Linguicide or Linguistic Suicide? A Case Study of Indigenous Minority Languages in France [MA Thesis, University of Edinburgh]. Edinburgh Research Achieve. https://era.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/36673
  50. Mehrifar, M. J.
    (2020) Linguistic Landscape and Attitudes towards Kurdish and Persian Languages among Kurdish Speakers in the Cities of Kermashan, Sanandaj and Ilam [Unpublished MA Thesis, Razi University].
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Mirvahedi, S. H.
    (2016) Linguistic landscaping in Tabriz, Iran: A discursive transformation of a bilingual space into a monolingual place. International Journal of the Sociology of Language242, 195–216. 10.1515/ijsl‑2016‑0039
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2016-0039 [Google Scholar]
  52. Mori, J., & Sanuth, K. J.
    (2018) Navigating between a monolingual utopia and translingual realities: Experiences of American learners of Yorùbá as an additional language. Applied Linguistics, 39, 78–98. 10.1093/applin/amx042
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx042 [Google Scholar]
  53. Moseley, C.
    (2009) Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Rezaei, S. and Tadayyon, M.
    (2018) Linguistic landscape in the city of Isfahan in Iran: The representation of languages and identities in Julfa. Multilingual, 37(6), 701–720. doi:  10.1515/multi‑2017‑0031
    https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2017-0031 [Google Scholar]
  55. Rudnyckyj, J. B.
    (1976) Linguicide. Ukrainian Technological University.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Sadeghi, A. A.
    (2001) Language planning in Iran: a historical overview. International Journal of the Sociology of Language148, 19–30. 10.1515/ijsl.2001.011
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.2001.011 [Google Scholar]
  57. Sheyholislami, J.
    (2010) Identity, language, and new media: the Kurdish case. Language Policy, 9(4), 289–312. 10.1007/s10993‑010‑9179‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10993-010-9179-y [Google Scholar]
  58. (2011) Kurdish identity, discourse, and new media. Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230119307
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230119307 [Google Scholar]
  59. (2012) Kurdish in Iran: A case of restricted and controlled tolerance. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 2012(217), 19–47. 10.1515/ijsl‑2012‑0048
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2012-0048 [Google Scholar]
  60. (2015) Language varieties of the Kurds. InW. Taucher, M. Vogl, & P. Webinger. (Eds.), The Kurds: History, religion, language, politics (pp.30–51). Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. (2019) Language as a problem: Language policy and rights in Kurdistan-Iran. Institude Kurde de Paris.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Skutnabb-Kangas, T.
    (2012) Linguistic Genocide in Education or Worldwide Diversity and Human Right?Routledge Publication.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Skutnabb-Kangas, T., Nicholas, A. B. & Reyhner, J.
    (2016) Linguistic Human Rights and Language Revitalisation in the USA and Canada. In: Colonol-Molina, S. M. & McCarty, T. L. (Eds.) The Handbook of Indigenous Language Revitalisation in the Americas (pp.181–200). Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Skutnabb-Kangas, T. & Phillipson, R.
    (1995) Linguicide and Linguicism. InSkutnabb-Kangas, T. & Phillipson, R. (Eds.) Papers in European language Policy (pp.83–91). Roskilde Universitetscenter, Lingvistgruppen.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Stanford, J. N.
    (2007, October9). The Road Less Traveled: Indigenous Minority Languages and Variationism Sociolinguistics[Poster presentation] atNWAV 36, Philadelphia, PA.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Stanford, J. and Dennis, P.
    (2009) The lure of a distant horizon: Variation in indigenous minority languages. InJ. Stanford and D. Preston. (Eds.), Variation in indigenous minority languages (pp.1–20). John Benjamins. 10.1075/impact.25.01sta
    https://doi.org/10.1075/impact.25.01sta [Google Scholar]
  67. Stein-Smith, K.
    (2017) The Multilingual Advantage: Foreign Language as a Social Skill in a Globalized World. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 7(3), 48–56.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Stoessel, S.
    (2002) Investigating the role of social networks in language maintenance and shift. International Journal of the Sociology of Language153, 93–131. 10.1515/ijsl.2002.006
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.2002.006 [Google Scholar]
  69. UNESCO Ad Hoc Expert Group on Endangered Languages
    UNESCO Ad Hoc Expert Group on Endangered Languages (2011) Language Vitality and Endangerment. Document submitted to theInternational Expert Meeting on UNESCO Programmed Safeguarding of Endangered Languages. Available atwww.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?pg=00139
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Wardough, R. and Fuller, J.
    (2015) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Blackwell Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Wei, L.
    (1994) Three Generations Two Languages One Family: Language choice and language shift in a Chinese community in Britain. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Weisi, H.
    (2013) L2 Acquisition and L1 endangerment and their impact on learning English: A case study of Kurdish Speakers in Iran [PhD Dissertation, Shiraz University].
    [Google Scholar]
  73. (2015) Language Endangerment among Kurdish Speakers in Iran. Lambert Publication.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Weiss, D. J. Schwob, N. and Lebkuecher, A. L.
    (2019) Bilingualism and statistical learning: Lessons from studies using artificial languages. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23(1), 1–6. doi:  10.1017/S1366728919000579
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728919000579 [Google Scholar]
  75. Wilford, J. N.
    (2007, September19). Languages Die, but Not Their Last Words. New York Times.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error