Language Contexts

Language Contexts: Vatlongos, Southeast Ambrym (Vanuatu)

  • Eleanor Ridge


Vatlongos, known as Southeast Ambrym in previous literature, is an Oceanic language spoken by somewhere between 2500 and 3700 speakers in Vanuatu. As well as being spoken in the Southeast region of Ambrym island, it is spoken by a relocated community outside the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila, on Efate island. One of the villages on Ambrym, Endu, speaks a different dialect and has close cultural links to speakers of North Ambrym languages. This article begins by summarising prior research on the context of Vatlongos language, then reports the results of a sociolinguistic survey taking in demographic factors, language repertoires and language attitudes in the three communities. It concludes by assessing the vitality of Vatlongos, distinguishing its status in each speaker community.

Keywords: Vatlongos, Southeast Ambrym, Oceanic language, Vanuatu, Ambrym island, Efate island

How to Cite:

Ridge, E., (2018) “Language Contexts: Vatlongos, Southeast Ambrym (Vanuatu)”, Language Documentation and Description 15, 87-122. doi:

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Published on
31 Jul 2018
Peer Reviewed