The sociolinguistic situation of the Sam people

Statement of Responsibility:
Rueck, Michael J. and Tim Jore

The Summer Institute of Linguistics conducted a sociolinguistic survey of the Sam [SNX] people on the Rai Coast of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea from 9 Feb-15 Feb 2001 to learn about their ethnolinguistic identity, language and dialect boundaries, language vitality, and other factors relevant to starting a language development project. They found that there are 600-700 Sam people living in just three villages with no reported or observed dialectal differences between them. Although the elders are concerned that their language is dying out, the Sam language still appears to be healthy at this point. The younger generations are using more Tok Pisin, but Sam still appears to be spoken most of the time by Sam people of all ages, especially in the two interior villages of Buan and Wongbe. Sam leaders are making efforts to preserve their culture and language, including the appointment of a Sam literature translation committee.

34 pages
Language surveys
Papua New Guinea
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