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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.

Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia

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Sociological factors in Reefs-Santa Cruz language vitality: a 40 year retrospective

1 / Åshild Næss, 2 / Anders Vaa, 3 / Rachel Emerine, 4 / Angela Hoover, 5

1SIL International

2University of Zürich

3University of Oslo

4California State University Long Beach

5Houghton College

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2012, Issue 214, Pages 111–152, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: 10.1515/ijsl-2012-0023, February 2013

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This article looks back over 40 years of language and culture change in the region of the Solomon Islands where the four Reefs-Santa Cruz (RSC) languages are spoken. Taking the works of Davenport and Wurm as a starting point, we list specific linguistic changes we have identified and discuss the sociological factors which have both promoted and undermined the vitality of these languages. We then determine the level of vitality for each language through the recently proposed Extended Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale — EGIDS (Lewis and Simons 2010), and based on our results for the RSC languages, we provide a short evaluation of the usefulness of EGIDS for prioritizing language documentation efforts.

Keywords:: Solomon Islands; Solomon Islands Pijin; Reefs-Santa Cruz; Natügu; Nalögo; Nagu; Äiwoo; EGIDS; language documentation; language vitality.

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