Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lecture | Sociolinguistics & Discourse Studies Series

Family language policy among Kurdish–Persian speaking families in Kermanshah, Iran

Monday 23 October 2023
Sociolinguistics & Discourse Studies Series
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden


Minority language studies have received increasing attention over the last decade in Iran. Drawing on Spolsky’s (Spolsky, Bernard. 2004. Language policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) language policy theoretical framework, this inquiry reports on the language ideologies, practices, and management efforts of an under-explored group of Kurdish families residing in the city of Kermanshah. To this end, semi-structured interviews and ethnographic fieldwork guided the collection of data from 40 Kurdish–Persian bilingual parents. The thematic analysis of data revealed glaring inconsistencies among the three elements of family language policy (FLP). That is parents’ strong attachment to Kurdish did not necessarily translate into their language practices and efforts. The results also suggest that the studied parents adopted a subtractive approach to their children’s proficiency in Kurdish. We argue that parents are not the core force in heritage language maintenance and there are other external factors determining the transmission of the home language.

This website uses cookies.  More information.