Preliminary Language Study

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SIL - Summer Institute of Linguistics

Lost Languages of PNG

Preliminary Language Study

A preliminary language study of a small selection of schools in four provinces has reveled that PNG children are truly diverse when it comes to speaking.

The study, and it must be remembered that only 24 schools (12 primary and 12 secondary) took part in the survey, revealed that in general primary children use their local language or Tokples at home and secondary students would use that as well.

The study also said that the language used by primary students in the class room is English followed by Tok Pisin. This changes to Tok Pisin followed by Tokples in the playground and Tokples followed by Tok Pisin in the home environment.

Secondary students are most likely to use English in the classroom followed by Tok Pisin. In the playground they would use Tok Pisin followed by English and at home they would use tokples followed by tok pisin at home.

The results clearly demonstrated the linguistic skills and diversity of people from PNG. It also demonstrates that the average PNG person would be literate in at least three languages.


The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) deals with over 285 of the PNG "tokples" languages. Please visit a page on this web site about the work of SIL

A sample of the Wedau Language -- Genesis 22-50 -- from Milne Bay.


Language List for PNG

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Created 16 Jun, 2004
Updated 8 Mar, 2011

© 2004 - Trevor Michie