Spoken L1 Language: Papapana

Comments on subclassification

Malcolm Ross 1988: 215-256

AES status:
Campbell, Lyle and Lee, Nala Huiying and Okura, Eve and Simpson, Sean and Ueki, Kaori 2022
Papapana (1758-ppn) = Severely Endangered (100 percent certain, based on the evidence available) (Papapana is listed as having 100 speakers in 1963 (Oliver 1973: 188), 150 speakers in 1977 (Wurm 2012) and more recently 120 speakers (Lewis et al. 2014). I am not sure how accurate these figures are and whether they were taken from just one Papapana-speaking village, or from all the villages. Without accurate figures I cannot say whether there has been a decline or at what pace. Certainly from what community members tell me, the villages used to have larger populations and there used to be much less intermarriage, so presumably speaker numbers have decreased a lot. Papapana has always been a small minority language though compared with other languages in the area. Intergenerational transmission has ceased (except for one family where the two children speak Papapana as L1) so unless that changes, I would say speaker numbers will decline steadily over the next fifty years as the current adult population dies. Only one couple make a concerted effort to speak and teach Papapana to their two boys. Some parents might try to transmit but children respond in Tok Pisin.)

(see Smith 2014)

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