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How to predict the evolution of a bilingual community

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Abstract

Working for the Bureau of Statistics of Papua and New Guinea in 1967, I carried out a territory-wide population projection, based on a complete collection of village patrol reports and some birth records from a small sample of hospitals. Many years later, I drew on this experience to develop a demolinguistic model for projecting the evolution of a bilingual community, which has been applied to nine language revitalization movements in Spain and in the British Isles. In the light of this, I discuss current literacy rates in Tok Pisin and in English in Papua New Guinea and the social conditioning of the spread of these languages.

References

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