OLAC Record

Title:Land-language link

The phenomena of language maintenance and language shift are dependent upon social mechanisms that substantiate a speaker’s choice to maintain his or her language repertoire intact or facilitate shift to another language or other languages. But at a deeper level, those social mechanisms themselves are founded in motivations endemic to the society in question.

In research on the mechanisms for language shift in Melanesia, I studied two ethnolinguistic groups, the Gabobora and Doga, speakers of the Anuki and Doga languages respectively. These two groups live adjacent to one another along the north coast of the Cape Vogel Peninsula, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. They share remarkable similarities in terms of external characteristics, not only location, but also missionization history, education, potential for trade, natural resources, and even profiles of conflict. Yet, in spite of these similarities, their languages occupy opposing ends of the viability spectrum. Anuki, the language of the Gabobora, appears to be viable, while the Doga language is not.

This paper proposes an internal mechanism that is contributing to the divergent language outcomes (differing patterns of marriage alliances) and suggests the motivation behind that mechanism (postulating a link between land security and language choice), concluding with a hierarchical template that may be used assess relative language viability.

Contributor (author):Landweer, M. Lynn
Date (W3CDTF):2010
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/9285
Extent:pages 351-380
Identifier (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/9285
Is Part Of:SIL e-Books 19
Language (ISO639):eng
Publisher:SIL International
Subject:Anuki language
Doga language
Language maintenance; Language shift
Subject (ISO639):aui
Type (DCMI):Text


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:9285
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Landweer, M. Lynn. 2010. SIL e-Books 19.
Terms: area_Europe area_Pacific country_GB country_PG dcmi_Text iso639_aui iso639_dgg iso639_eng

Inferred Metadata

Country: Papua New Guinea
Area: Pacific

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 6:07:51 EDT 2015