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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.