Language Variation and Social Identity in Kanjimei, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Darja Hoenigman, Australian National University
Individual Graduate Studentship. Duration: 2011-2012. £21,491
Awiakay is an undescribed Papuan language, belonging to the small Arafundi group, spoken by about 300 people living in Kanjimei village in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. This project aims at documenting speech varieties (definable registers) in Awiakay and their relation to the overall social scene. This includes recording lexical substitution registers such as ‘mountain talk’ and ‘hidden talk’, language of disputes and fighting, language used in Catholic charismatic activities, dirges and all-night dance/song cycles, together with traditional knowledge necessary for understanding their use. Documentation of all speech varieties will be accompanied with observational ethnographic films.