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The SIL-PNG survey team conducted a sociolinguistic survey of the Ambul [apo]
language, spoken in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, from 22–25
October 2009. Ambul is listed as Apalik [apo] in the sixteenth edition of the
Ethnologue (Lewis 2009) and belongs to the West Arawe sub-group of Austronesian
languages. The goals of the survey were to determine language and dialect
boundaries and evaluate language vitality. Data was collected through individual
and group interviews, wordlist elicitation and observation of language use in each
village in the language area.
The Ambul language is spoken by approximately 1,600 people in four villages
located on small islands off the south coast of New Britain Island, and can be
divided into two dialects, based on reported data. Ethnolinguistic vitality in the
Ambul language is currently high. Although some use of Tok Pisin was reported in
all the domains that were investigated, Ambul is the primary language used by
people of all ages in the language area.