Languages of Papua New Guinea

Three Arafundi Languages: A Sociolinguistic Profile of Andai, Nanubae, and Tapei

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Kassell, Alison, Bonnie MacKenzie and Margaret Potter
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60 pages
Between February 8 and 22, 2005, Alison Kassell, Bonnie MacKenzie and Margaret Potter of SIL-PNG Branch conducted a sociolinguistic survey of the speech varieties along the Arafundi River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). They were accompanied by a speaker of the nearby Alamblak language who was involved in language development in Alamblak. The goals of the survey were to define the dialect and language boundaries, to investigate language vitality, to collect data on religious institutions in the area and to investigate whether a language development programme would be appropriate. This was achieved with the use of sociolinguistic interviews, interviews with community and religious leaders, the collection of wordlists and recorded text testing (RTTs). The team concluded that the speech varieties previously included in the Arafundi language are in fact three languages, which are not mutually intelligible. Two of the languages, Tapei and Andai, have strong linguistic vitality, and the third, Nanubae, has strong linguistic vitality in the dialect spoken in Wambrumas and Yamandim villages, but not in the dialect spoken in Imanmeri village. It is therefore recommended that a language development programme be initiated in Tapei, Andai and the Wambrumas-Yamandim dialect of Nanubae.
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SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2017-003
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