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Title: The Gbe Language Continuum of West Africa: A Synchronic Typological Approach to Prioritizing In-depth Sociolinguistic Research on Literature Extensibility 
Author: Kluge, Angela
Date: 2007-12-17
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Kluge, Angela. 2007. The Gbe language continuum of West Africa: A synchronic typological approach to prioritizing in-depth sociolinguistic research on literature extensibility. Language Documentation & Conservation 1(2): 182–215.
Abstract: For large language continua, such as Gbe of West Africa, a major challenge stakeholders concerned with language planning issues are facing is the question of the extensibility of written materials. To adequately inform language development program decisions in terms of literature extensibility, ideally, in-depth sociolinguistic studies would be conducted in all of the varieties involved, an undertaking that proves rather unfeasible for large continua.This paper proposes that when applying a multifaceted approach to linguistic data interpretation, such in-depth sociolinguistic studies may be unnecessary. This paper compares the findings of synchronic analyses of lexical and grammatical features elicited among 49 Gbe varieties to the outcomes of more recent Rapid Appraisal sociolinguistic surveys, and the findings of two diachronic studies. In considering the different approaches as complementing rather than contradicting each other, the proposed multifaceted approach exemplifies how different outcomes from various studies may be used to inform focused in-depth sociolinguistic research. Such research would in turn directly influence language program development decisions as to the extensibility of already existing literature to the remaining speech communities of the continuum.
Sponsorship: National Foreign Language Resource Center
ISSN: 1934-5275
Keywords: Gbe, West Africa, literature extensibility, synchronic typological approach, Rapid Appraisal sociolinguistic surveys, diachronic studies

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