The goal of this study is to investigate the current language attitudes of first and second generation Afghan and Iranian-Americans toward the two varieties Dari and Persian of the Indo-Iranian language Farsi. Research on this subject can facilitate future endeavors toward heritage language maintenance efforts in order to preserve a linguistically diverse America and address an unprecedented need for government professionals who are skilled in languages that are currently in demand such as Dari. Based on the sociopolitical context of both immigrant groups, the hypothesis is that Afghan and Iranian-Americans consider Persian more overtly prestigious and that each ethnic group attributes higher group solidarity traits to their own dialect guise. It is further hypothesized that the second generation from both immigrant groups will hold the same language attitudes as their parents. The primary method of investigation for this study was a modified version of Lambert et al.s (1960) matched guise design, which collected both quantitative and qualitative data. There is strong evidence to suggest that the Persian variety is considered more covertly and overtly prestigious than Dari by first and second generation Afghan and Iranian-Americans. Although the biases between the first and second generation aligned similarly, there is an indication that there is a generational difference in language attitudes toward Farsi in general. The overt and covert stigmatization of Dari coupled with the disparity between the first and second generations' language attitudes toward Farsi may partially explain the unsuccessful language maintenance program thus far in the Dari speaking community in Fremont, California. Future language maintenance efforts may benefit by fostering a stronger sense of heritage and pride within the speech community and especially in the youth.
language attitudes, Farsi, Dari, Persian, Afghan-American, Iranian-American
Level of Degree
Department of Linguistics
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Hansia, Afsoon. "LANGUAGE ATTITUDES OF FIRST AND SECOND GENERATION AFGHAN-AMERICANS AND IRANIAN-AMERICANS TOWARD DARI AND PERSIAN." (2014). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ling_etds/13