Mussau-Emira

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A language of Papua New Guinea

Alternate Names
Emira-Mussau, Musao, Musau-Emira, Mussau
Population

5,000 (2003 SIL), increasing. Ethnic population: 5,000 (2000 SIL). Includes 3,500 in the traditional area.

Location

New Ireland Province, Saint Matthias Islands, Mussau and Emira northwest of Kavieng; Port Moresby, Lae, Goroka, and Madang.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Eastern Mussau, Emira, Southern Mussau, Western Mussau.

Typology

SVO.

Language Use

Vigorous. Spoken by nearly all. Passed on to children in the traditional area, and some elsewhere, except in mixed marriages. Tenis ethnic group also uses Emira. Youth tend to prefer Tok Pisin [tpi] (Wurm 2007). Most domains, local administration, commerce, education in early grades, oral and some written use in church, personal letters. All ages. Positive attitudes. All but youngest use Tok Pisin [tpi]. Also use English [eng]. Used as L2 by Tenis [tns].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 80%–95%. Literacy rate in L2: 80%–95% Tok Pisin and English. Schooling declined since 1999 due to poor economy, and literacy rates then declined. Vernacular preparatory schools since 1994. Poetry. Dictionary. Bible portions: 2006–2008.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian.