Research Topics

SIL language assessment studies typically focus on the following rersearch questions:

  • How linguistically similar is one speech variety to another?
  • How intelligible is one speech variety to speakers of another variety?
  • By whom is the variety used? Under what circumstances is the variety used? By what name do the speakers of a linguistic variety call themselves? Where are the speakers of a language variety located?
  • Do people of a community regularly use more than one speech variety in their daily life? What is their level of proficiency in each of the speech varieties they use?
  • What are the relevant social, economic, political and religious factors which affect language attitudes and use?
  • Is there language shift in progress?

The answers to these questions are pursued through the study of six key sociolinguistic topics: