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A language survey of the Emem speech community was carried out as part of a larger sociolinguistic study initiated by SIL Indonesia to determine the language development needs of the languages of Papua, Indonesia. The purpose of this survey was to obtain an initial impression of the Emem language situation and the sociolinguistic dynamics of the Emem speech community. Through the elicitation of wordlists, the administration of community interviews and observation, the survey team collected data concerning language boundaries and dialect situation, language vitality, language attitudes toward both the oral and written modalities of Emem, and updated pertinent background information on the Emem language area.
The findings from this survey indicate that Emem is used in five villages in Web Subdistrict. The vitality of the language appears to be shifting but is still viable because vernacular use is still strong among the old generation in most domains, and even though the young generation uses Indonesian more than the vernacular, they still use the vernacular frequently. The people had positive attitudes toward their language and potential literacy or translation programs in the vernacular.