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Linguistic Paths to Urban Self in Postcolonial Solomon Islands

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The article entitled, “Linguistic Paths to Urban Self in Postcolonial Solomon Islands” by Christine Jourdan explores the many languages that are spoken in the chain of islands that can culturally bind or culturally separate the various groups that hold significance to the past, present, and future of the Solomon Islands. Jourdan specifically focuses on the contrasting ways “villagers” and urban residents to decide to communicate even though they share the same ancestral history. The presentation of the article wants to use the national languages, Pijin and English, along with the various ethnic languages, also known as vernacular languages, to establish national unity and renew a sense of pride and appreciation among the urban citizens who tend to stray away from their history. The focus on language also led to the discussion of classes within society that changed its infrastructure and diversity. Gender, socioeconomic status, and location play a role on the different types of customs that people practice. During the pre-colonial era, Christianization through Missionaries led to the institution of the English Language in Pacific Islander society. “ Ethnics Languages were viewed as dialects by colonists were frowned upon. So, they tended to stray away from the ethnic language and stick to their own. In the present, Pijin, is viewed to be the language of choice in cities, such as Honiara. As the Solomon Islands advanced to modern times, urban residents mainly spoke, Pijin,. However, English is reserved for the educated and the working class in the urban centers of the islands. In recent years, the youth in the city have incorporated traditional language from their parents with their language. This implies that maybe they are open to learning about other culture of the Solomon Islands. Sophie Barneche (2005) stated that the youth not knowing their parents’ language…...

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