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This survey identifies the most suitable location for a language development team among 20 villages of the Tonda sub-group of languages spoken in the West Morehead area of Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The survey team used a questionnaire and an observation schedule to gather data on social network connections, perceived similarity of speech and language vitality. Social network connections were investigated by collecting data on the traditional practice of bride exchange which is widespread in this area.
The potential for a team to engage language communities in a multi-language development project was clearly shown by social network analysis which indicated that communities in the survey area are extremely well connected. In addition, the strength of these connections extends to the neighbouring language communities of Arammba and the Nambu sub-group, further increasing the potential of such a project. The village of Indorodoro was identified to be the most favourable location for such a language development team on the basis of social network analysis. These findings were reinforced by data which showed that vitality in this village was not a cause for concern and that geography and infrastructure also contributed to Indorodoro’s suitability.