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The Punjabi language refers to the Indo-Aryan family, and over 125 million people use it worldwide. It presents a native language for Punjabi people, who are supposed to reside in India and Pakistan. Although it is predominantly spoken in the aforementioned regions, there are other areas in the world, where people know it. Along with English, French, Mandarin, and Cantonese, Punjabi is actively used in Canada, and it is among the five most-spoken native languages within this country. Approximately 1,4% of Canadian residents speak the Punjabi language, and it is maintained in province Saskatchewan mainly by virtue of the immigrants. This language is considered to be unique in its own way due to the use of lexical tone.
Plans for Research Project
In the context of the present-day developments, the maintenance of the heritage languages within the territory of Canada presents a problem, which especially regards the children of immigrants. Public schools do not adhere to the significance of developing minority languages. Furthermore, they are predominantly not provided with appropriate guidelines. In some cases, representatives of the Punjabi language may be advised not to use this language on a regular basis.
However, it should be highlighted that the importance of the maintenance of this native language should not be underestimated. It plays a crucial role in forming family bonds and understanding the culture and heritage of ancestors. It is an integral part of the social identity of individuals. In addition, the use of this language refers to particular historical events, which are definitely important for the Punjabi people. Moreover, in the modern world, the possibility to adhere to multicultural interaction and respect diversity is highly appreciated. Therefore, the necessity to contribute to Punjabi language maintenance is undeniable.
Thus, the topic of future research is the Punjabi language shift and maintenance in immigrants in Saskatchewan, Canada. The tasks of this research imply the exploration of all the available information in the respect, including books, articles, memories, and interviews with people in case it is possible. It is essential to review the current situation with the maintenance of this language in Saskatchewan, policy in this regard, and the state of education. The final task addresses the need to propose possible improvements, taking into consideration all the specialties of the situation. Consequently, in order to complete the tasks described earlier, it is vital to respond to the following questions:
- How can the significance of the Punjabi language maintenance be explained in the context of social and cultural development?
- What circumstances threaten the development of the language?
- Which measures are established for preventing Punjabi from abandoning?
- How may the situation be improved?
These tasks and questions determine the approximate structure of the academic paper. The first chapter will include a review of all the available information and literature devoted to this issue, and the second part will involve the analysis of the current situation in Saskatchewan. The final one will address the essential measures for developing the Punjabi culture and suggestions about the establishment of new ones.
Survey of Literature
The major difficulty about the exploration of this topic regards the limited range of literature and information, which is available in libraries of different kinds. The majority of literature addresses all the minority languages in Canada. Thus, there is not comprehensive research about only the Punjabi language. The dissertation of Philosophy Doctor, Babaee Naghmeh, Heritage Language Maintenance and Loss in an Iranian Community in Canada: Successes and challenges may appear to be a helpful source for reviewing this topic (Nagham, 2014). He provides an in-depth analysis of the current situation regarding the maintenance of heritage languages in different areas in the world, and his exploration also covers Canada.
The primary advantage of this publication implies a broad collection of information about the social and political context of minority language maintenance. It contains a comprehensive analysis of this problem, including the education in public schools, the attitude of the population to it, the position of teachers, and other details. In addition, there is some information regarding the Punjabi language usage in Saskatchewan. Thus, this work is essential in order to form the entire picture of this issue, though the information regarding Punjabi may not be fulfilling to some extent. However, the dissertation appears to be one of the most detailed articles on the topic of future research.
In order to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Punjabi language maintenance in Saskatchewan, it is essential to adhere to both qualitative and quantitative methods. As it has been described above, the paper will include part of the literature review on this topic. The focus of this section is collecting as much information as possible about the maintenance of this language in Saskatchewan. It will include books and scholarly, newspaper, and magazine articles. In addition, qualitative exploration regards the current policy in this respect. It will include the analysis of the public school position on the issue of Punjabi language maintenance, and, in general, the use of it on an everyday basis. As for the quantitative base, it will involve statistical information, such as the number of Punjabi-speaking residents and immigrants in Saskatchewan.
Relevance in the Academic Field
As it has been mentioned above, the range of explorations on the maintenance of the Punjabi language in Saskatchewan, Canada, is significantly limited. This topic is not covered by scientists comprehensively, as predominantly, the use of Punjabi is studied in combination with other minority languages spoken in this area. Furthermore, as it is evident from the literature survey section, there is a limited amount of publications, which cover the Punjabi language usage in other areas except for its native one, including Saskatchewan. For this reason, future research may fill some gaps in the academic field. In addition, the exploration of this issue will definitely contribute to developing this language and preventing it from abandoning.
Although the topic may seem restricted, the results of the exploration may be beneficial in the long run. The maintenance of the Punjabi language is extremely relevant in the modern world, when people recognize the importance of social and historical identity and respect the heritage of their ancesotrs. It also contributes to the perseverance of ancient cultures and respecting their history and heritage. In addition, it is crucial to adhere to multicultural diversity, which is highly appreciated these days. For this reason, this research has perspectives and is highly likely to benefit the academic field and the problem of minority language maintenance in the future. Therefore, I hope to be capable of continuing to develop this topic in the context of my future academic activity.
I strongly believe that the process of studying in the university will be beneficial. It will offer me an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive exploration in the topic of my interest. In addition, the admission to the university will contribute to the development of my qualities, such as perseverance, diligence, and initiativity. It will also allow me to realize my academic ambitions and receive in-depth knowledge and acquire essential practical skills.
Nagham, B. (2014). Heritage language maintenance and loss in an Iranian community in Canada: Successes and challenges [Doctoral Dissertation, University of Manitoba]. Mspace.