HERE’S a project that quite a few of our readers will be able to assist with.
Chris Neuenschwander is a Swiss PhD student working on a project about the role of Tok Pisin in public life.
“I'm interested in how the status and function of the language change over time, and I wanted to ask if you could help me with some questions,” he said.
Chris came across Paul Oates’ suggestion of a couple of years ago that Tok Pisin be taught in Australian schools and he’s wondering whether anything happened in the meantime.
Well, the short answer to that is ‘no’, and I think that would also be the long answer.
But Chris’s main research interest is Tok Pisin's role in modern cultural life in Papua New Guinea. For example, whether there are plays, books, songs , newspapers and other cultural forms produced in the language.
He’s also interested in whether the use of Tok Pisin is increasing of being replaced by English as a significant language.
Chris is still in Bern but plans to travel to Australia in April and May. He’s thinking that a trip to Papua New Guinea would be a good way to gain interesting insights, collect data and talk to people.
But he needs to know where to start and he’s looking for our help.
If you can give Chris a hand, or even arrange to meet with him while he’s in our part of the world, you can get in touch initially by leaving a comment on this story.