Results related to language shift and maintenance revealed that Shinasha people shift from their original language to another because of various reasons. These are economic, attitudinal, intermarriage, demographic and historical factors led them to replace their language by another. These results agree with Nawaz’s (2012 & et. al,) Language shift is a complex and affected phenomenon, motivated and stimulated by accumulative force of historical, cultural, economic, social and psychological factors.
Economic factor is the main reason that forces many Shinashas to abandon speaking their language. This is happens when Shinasha people see the importance of learning the second language for a better job and living. For instance, most of Ethiopians eagerly learn English, Amharic and Afan Oromo because those three languages share a great contribution in economic and political aspects. This idea is related to Holmes’s (2008) job seekers see the importance of learning a new language which is widely used in business. Furthermore, this idea meets with Nawaz’s & et. al. (2012) according to Marxist point of view, economical factors are the basis for overall social patterns. English language promised and promises financial security. You can get high level jobs only if you know English language. The importance of English for success in any field can hardly be emphasized because it is the language of financial activities.
Attitudinal factor or psychological is the other factor that leads Shinasha people to replace their language in favor of Amharic and Afan Oromo. Language shift is slower among communities where the minority language is highly valued, therefore when the language is seen as an important symbol of ethnic identity, it will be maintained longer and vice versa. As we understand Shinasha youths do not have positive attitude towards their language. Even they are ashamed of speaking their language as we got from respondents. When they speak their language they consider themselves as minor group. This idea is supported by Veettil’s &et.al. (2020) another critical factor in promoting language maintenance or shift is the attitude of the natives or the dominant group towards the language of the migrant community. A positive and supportive attitude of the dominant group gives the minority groups more opportunities for language maintenance. One’s attitude to a language is another factor that affects language maintenance and shift.
The other factor that helps Shinasha people to shift from their original language to another is intermarriage. Shinasha youths do not speak their language when they communicate with their in-laws after they got married with others, because, Shinasha language is not used for wider communication. Even they feel shame when they speak Shinasha language in front of their wives or husbands in different social occasions.
Historical factor is the other factor which leads Shinasha people to stop speaking their language. This factor is not the major on. There are few Shinash people who dislike their language because of their historical background. This idea agrees with Nawaz’s & et. al. (2012)
The other factor that pushes Shinasha people to transfer from their language to other indigenous languages is demographic factor. This factor plays the role in the process of language shift. When there is a community of speakers moving to a region or a country (urbanization) whose language is different from theirs, there is a tendency to shift to the new language. Every time an immigrant learns the native language of the new country he/she will pass it down to their children and replace the old language with a new one. When Shinashas migrate permanently or temporarily to anther for different purposes, they do not speak their language in their new areas. Some time they do not expose their identities. This idea is related to Veettil’s &et.al. (2020) from a demographic perspective, the numerical strength of a linguistic community and the concentration of speakers in one area are crucial variables in promoting language maintenance. Moreover, this idea is related with Crystal’s (2000) the social factors leading to the abandonment of minority languages are many, of different type and usually interrelated. In this case we understand to demographic factors - as for example the number of the minority language speakers and their concentration in the settlement area the diffusion of linguistically mixed marriages within the minority group, the status and the prestige of the language on a local and international level, the existing institutional support of the minority language, the intensity of the economic pressure deriving from the wider society, and so on.
Shinasha community in Ethiopia prefers their language when they interact with family members only. So Shinasha language is used only in home. However, when they communicate with others outside home they use either Amharic or Afan Oromo. In addition, Shinasha community prefers other indigenous languages for their various domains. These languages are Amharic, Afan Oromo and rarely Gumuz and Awigni, because these languages are prestigious languages. Particularly, Amharic is a more prestigious language in Ethiopia.