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Between the 13th and 14th of July 2004, Alison Kassell, Philip Lambrecht and Bonnie MacKenzie of SIL PNG conducted a sociolinguistic survey of the Kaninuwa language, located in Lower Wataluma ward, northern Goodenough Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. The goals of the survey were: to define any dialect boundaries, to investigate linguistic vitality and to investigate other factors pertinent to language development. This was achieved with the use of sociolinguistic interviews, interviews with religious and community leaders and the collection of wordlists. This survey took place during a longer survey of the dialects of western and northern Goodenough Island. See Kassell and Lambrecht (2012).
The team found that the Kaninuwa language does not have any clear dialect boundaries and although only having 400 speakers, it is vital. The Kaninuwa people are proud of their language and culture and are interested in (and practise) language maintenance.