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A Sociolinguistic Survey of Araki: A Dying Language of Vanuatu

Vari-Bogiri, Hannah (2004) A Sociolinguistic Survey of Araki: A Dying Language of Vanuatu. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 25 (5). pp. 1-15. ISSN 0143-4632

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Araki is one of around a hundred languages of the Republic of Vanuatu. It is a language spoken by the people of Araki, an islet situated near the south western part of Santo, in the north of Vanuatu. Linguistic statistics have shown a gradual decline in the number of speakers. This study presents evidence to show that Araki is a declining language and adopts a diagnostic approach to finding out the underlying causes underpinning this gradual decline in the number of Araki speakers. This paper discusses why so many people of Araki within the younger generation have a passive knowledge of Araki while Tangoa, a closely related language, plays a dominant role in their daily communication. Literature on threatened languages in the world today exposes various reasons underlying these changes and steps that can be taken to revive these languages. The focus of this survey is to expose the reasons underpinning this language change and the Araki-speaking community’s attitude towards this change. Furthermore, with reference to other models of language revival strategies in other countries, this study will propose a model that can be employed to revive this dying language. This study was carried out in 1998, using multiple datacollecting methods which comprised a questionnaire, interviews and observation of language use in various contexts, covering all the five extended families that make up the population of Arak, which stood at 121.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Campus Life
Depositing User: Repo Editor
Date Deposited: 13 May 2015 04:51
Last Modified: 13 May 2015 04:51

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