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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.

Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia

6 Issues per year

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A tale of three languages: language shift in a micro-context

T. Wayne Dye,
  • Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, USA
  • :
/ Sally Folger Dye,
  • Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, USA
  • :
Published Online: 2012-03-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2012-0019


As long-term residents in Wagu village of Papua New Guinea, the authors were privileged to observe language shift and death on a small scale over more than forty years in one village. During that time, one language has died, another has now reached the point of no return, and a third language that initially seemed less likely to succeed there actually continues in full use in the village today. This paper documents the processes that led to language shift in this one small village.

Keywords:: Bahinemo; language maintenance; language death; Papua New Guinea; East Sepik.

Published Online: 2012-03-27

Published in Print: 2012-03-22

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2012, Issue 214, Pages 27–38, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2012-0019, March 2012

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