Advertisement

The Case of the Bajunis

  • Derek Nurse
Chapter
Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 16)

Abstract

In recent years, Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO) has been increasingly used in asylum determinations, especially in Europe. Somali and especially Bajuni cases have played a central role in this. This chapter has several components. The first is language: since the language situation in Somalia and the particular status of Bajuni and its community, the linguistic nature of Bajuni and its relation to Standard Swahili will be unknown to most readers, they are sketched at the outset. Second is the recent calamitous situation of Bajunis in Somali, their exodus, and their initial reception in Europe. This leads into a description of the linguistic and non-linguistic asylum interviews, the reports and analyses written on the basis of these interviews, and the governmental decisions taken. Fourth, it is argued that the official or commissioned reports and analyses on the Bajunis and their language are deeply flawed and unreliable: they are a house built on sand, therefore the government and legal decisions based on these reports/analyses are also largely unreliable. Fifth, it is concluded that if LADO is based on an adequate body of linguistics, analyses carried out by linguistic literates, and decisions based on such analyses, it is a useful and reliable tool. A final section deals with the bleak future facing Bajunis in Somalia.

Keywords

Bajuni Endangered languages LADO Language mixing Native speaker Refugee camps Somalia Sprakab Swahili 

References

  1. Barlow, A. E. (1960). Studies in Kikuyu grammar and idiom. Edinburgh: William Blackwood.Google Scholar
  2. Benson, T. G. (1964). Kikuyu-English dictionary. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cassanelli, L. V. (1995). Victims and vulnerable groups in Southern Somalia. Immigration and refugee board of Canada. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6a8092.html. Accessed 11 July 2017
  4. Danish Immigration Service. (2000). Report on minority groups in Somalia. Joint British, Danish & Dutch fact-finding mission to Nairobi, Kenya. 17–24 September 2000. http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a5fa0.html. Accessed 11 July 2017.
  5. FitzGerald, W. W. A. (1898). Travels in the coastlands of British East Africa and the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. London: Chapman and Hall Ltd.Google Scholar
  6. Grottanelli, V. L. (1955). Pescatori dell’Oceano Indiano. Rome: Edizioni Cremonese.Google Scholar
  7. Language and National Origin Group. (2004). Guidelines for the use of language analysis in relation to questions of national origin in refugee cases. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 11(2), 261–266.  https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v11i2.261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lewis, M. P., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (2015). Ethnologue: Languages of the world (18th ed.). Dallas: SIL International.Google Scholar
  9. Mahazi, J. (2008). The Vave genre in Bajuni oral literature: A stylistic analysis. Magister thesis, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth (unpublished).Google Scholar
  10. Nurse, D. (1982). The Swahili dialects of Somalia and the northern Kenya coast. In M.-F. Rombi (Ed.), Etudes sur le Bantu oriental (pp. 73–l46). Paris: SELAF.Google Scholar
  11. Nurse, D. (1983). Poème guerrier du bajuni. Etudes Océan Indien, 3, 61–64.Google Scholar
  12. Nurse, D. (1994). Historical texts from the Swahili coast (part 1). Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 37/Swahili Forum, 1, 47–85.Google Scholar
  13. Nurse, D. (1996). Historical texts from the Swahili coast (part 2). Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 42/Swahili Forum, 2, 41–72.Google Scholar
  14. Nurse, D. (2013a). Bajuni database. http://www.faculty.mun.ca/dnurse/Database/. Accessed 11 July 2017.
  15. Nurse, D. (2013b). General document. In Nurse 2013a.Google Scholar
  16. Nurse, D. (2013c). Ubajunini. In Nurse 2013a.Google Scholar
  17. Nurse, D. (2013d). Grammatical sketch. In Nurse 2013a.Google Scholar
  18. Nurse, D. (2013e). Wordlist. In Nurse 2013a.Google Scholar
  19. Nurse, D. (2013f). Bajuni refugees. In Nurse 2013a.Google Scholar
  20. Nurse, D., & Hinnebusch, T. J. (1993). Swahili and Sabaki: A linguistic history. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  21. Omar, Y., & Donnelly, K. (1987). Farmer and forest: Bajuni agricultural songs. Ba Shiru, 13(1), 11–39.Google Scholar
  22. Prins, A. H. J. (1967). The Swahili-speaking peoples of Zanzibar and the east African coast. London: International African Institute.Google Scholar
  23. United Nations General Assembly. (1948). Convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide. General Assembly Resolution 260. Geneva: United Nations. https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%2078/volume-78-I-1021-English.pdf
  24. Wilson, T. H. (1992). Settlement patterns of the coast of southern Somalia and Kenya. In H. M. Adam & C. L. Geshekter (Eds.), Proceedings of the first international congress of Somali studies (pp. 76–112). Chico: Scholars’ Press.Google Scholar

Legal Citations

  1. AJH (Minority group-Swahili speakers) Somalia CG [2003] UKIAT 00094.Google Scholar
  2. RB (Linguistic evidence – Språkab) Somalia [2010] UKUT 329 (IAC).Google Scholar
  3. SSHD (Appellant) vs MN and KY (Respondents) (Scotland) [2014] UKSC 30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Nurse
    • 1
  1. 1.Memorial University of Newfoundland (ret’d)St. John’sCanada

Personalised recommendations