01.05.2009 -

Indigenous Language Revitalization and Preservation in Melanesia and the Pacific (Phase II)

A great number of Melanesian languages are in danger of disappearing due to the decrease in use and the lack of orthographies of these languages.

A great number of Melanesian languages are in danger of disappearing due to the decrease in use and the lack of orthographies of these languages. The project was designed to preserve and revitalize languages without written forms in three Melanesian countries, i.e. Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The objectives of the safeguarding project are to:

  • Encourage local communities to value their languages as an important aspect of intangible heritage;
  • Encourage local initiatives and efforts to ensure maintenance of cultural identity through linguistic programs;
  • Provide linguistic data for endangered languages as a basis for preparing linguistic material for literacy classes and basic education;
  • Provide means and tools to local communities, particularly to children and youth, to learn and maintain their languages;
  • Enhance local capacities (train students, field workers and community activists) in language documentation.

 The main activities include:

  • Train students of linguistics and community field workers to conduct fieldwork for collecting and analyzing linguistic data;
  • Conduct linguistic surveys to document Melanesian languages in danger;
  • Develop teaching material in the countries based in the collected data for each language (word lists, orthography, primers, grammar sketches, etc.).



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