Language Variation and Social Identity in Kanjimei, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

Awiakay is an undescribed Papuan language, belonging to the small Arafundi group, spoken by about 300 people living in Kanjimei village in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. This project aims at documenting speech varieties (definable registers) in Awiakay and their relation to the overall social scene. This includes recording lexical substitution registers such as 'mountain talk' and 'hidden talk', language of disputes and fighting, language used in Catholic charismatic activities, dirges and all-night dance/song cycles, together with traditional knowledge necessary for understanding their use. Documentation of all speech varieties will be accompanied with observational ethnographic films. Primary investigator: Darja Hoenigman

Project Details


Location: Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Oceania Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Australian National University Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £21,491.00 Commencement Date: 01/2007
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