Lexical and morphosyntactic attrition in secondary school students who speak Gikuyu as L1
Ndung'u, Joseph Muchemi
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The aim of this study was to investigate attrition in Gikuyu Ll speakers as a consequence of Gikuyu - English contact in school. The study was based on the premise that students were losing their competencies in indigenous languages especially at the level of schooling. The study had four objectives. First, it sought to determine wJtether lexical and morpho-syntactical attrition was occurring in secondary school Gikuyu Ll speakers. Secondly, the study sought to determine the nature of attrition. Thirdly, it sought to determine the effect of schooling and home backgrounds on attrition. The study adopted case study as its research design. Two schools in Nyandarua County were randomly selected to be the base of the study. A questionnaire on students' schooling and Linguistic backgrounds was administered to 200 form three Gikuyu Ll speakers in the two schools. The data obtained was used to group respondents according to schooling and home backgrounds. Fifty percent of respondents from each group were selected through interval sampling to sit a translation and a free writing test structured to elicit data on respondents' proficiency in specified language features. Data (errors) elicited through the test was analysed within Myers-Scotton's 4 M and Abstract Level theoretical frameworks. It was established that school and home language practices were factors in respondents' susceptibility to attrition. It was also found that some linguistic features in Gikuyu language were more prone to attrition than others.