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Our project is centered around the Qaqet language, a Papuan language spoken by about 15,000 people in Papua New Guinea.

Like many minority languages around the world, Qaqet is endangered by the larger languages surrounding it. It is still very strong in the remote regions, and children there learn it as their first language. But in the accessible regions, it is rapidly giving way to the national language Tok Pisin. Watch Paul Alin, Lucy Nguingi, Caspar Panavu and Roberta Nakai speaking to Henrike Frye about the Qaqet language and what it means for them.

In our project, we work together with the Qaqet people to describe and document their language: the language of adults, and especially the language of children. What do children hear from their parents, from other adults, from other children? What do they themselves speak? What do they need to learn to grow up as responsible members of Qaqet society? How do they learn?