Sociolinguistic Survey among the Ɓekwel

Statement of Responsibility:
Beavon, Keith and Ann Elizabeth Johnson
Questions concerning the number and extent of Mpompong dialects motivated a team of four researchers to study whether Ɓekwel should also be included as one among other dialects. The testing was done by means of wordlists and mutual intelligibility tests. The outcome was convincing to the researchers, who saw that uniform familiarity among the Ɓekwel with Mpompong was due to language acquisition. Their knowledge of Mpompong’s central dialect was strikingly better and more uniform than their knowledge of another dialect, Nkunabeeb, which was paradoxically closer to the Ɓekwel. The central dialect of Mpompong, though farther away, was more readily acquired by the Ɓekwel who were sampled, this being due, in all likelihood, to the favored position of the dialect in the provincial capital, as well as being used on the radio. The conclusion is that Ɓekwel is a distinct language from Mpompong.
14 pages
Language surveys
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