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In a nation as linguistically complex as Cameroon, where more than 200 languages are spoken, language developers must strive to make maximum use of limited human and financial resources by concentrating their efforts on those speech varieties which would be usable in as many related speech communities as possible.
This thesis documents a survey conducted in early 1990 within the Eastern Mbum group, located at the intersection of Cameroon, Chad, and Central African Republic. Its goal was to determine whether language development projects in Karang, Kuo, and Nzak Mbay can be extended to five other Eastern Mbum communities: Man, Mbere, Ngomi, Pana, and Sakpu. The tools used were lexicostatistical analysis, intelligibility testing, vii and speaker self-reports. This thesis details the analysis of the data collected and proposes a two-stage strategy for providing a written language to all Eastern Mbum speakers.
In the interest of making this work available without further delay, we are posting it as it was accepted by the institution that granted the degree with some revisions by the author and no additional editing.