A Sociolinguistic Survey of Ambul

Statement of Responsibility:
Van Cott, Sara, Juliann Spencer and Bonnie MacKenzie

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.

90 pages
Sociolinguistic survey
Language surveys
Papua New Guinea
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