The Southwest Pacific from Southern China through Indonesia, Australia and the Pacific Islands constitutes the richest linguistic region of the world. That rich resource cannot be taken for granted. Some of its languages have already been lost; many more are under threat. The challenge is to describe the languages that exist today and to adopt policies that will support their maintenance.
Denis Cunningham is Assistant Principal in the Victorian School of Languages. He has published widely in journals, reports and conferences around the world, and was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators in 2001.David Ingram is Professor and Executive Dean in the School of Applied Language Studies in Melbourne University Private, Melbourne Australia. He has published extensively in applied linguistics.Kenneth Sumbuk is Professor and Executive Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea. His research specialty is in Papuan languages, Pidgin and Creole linguistics and dying languages.