Savosavo is spoken on Savo Island in the Solomon Islands, by an estimated 2,800-3,000 people (a new census is currently under way). While most of the more than seventy languages in this island nation belong to the Austronesian language family, Savosavo is one of four languages that are non-Austronesian. It has no (close) relatives, and its grammar is remarkably different from the other languages in the country.
Savosavo is an endangered language, even though it is at present still the main language spoken in most homes and villages on Savo Island. The main threat is Solomon Islands Pijin, the lingua franca of the Solomon Islands. Almost all speakers of Savosavo are bilingual in Pijin, and most can speak one or more of the neighbouring Austronesian languages, but it is very rare for a native speaker of another language to learn how to speak Savosavo. Thus, when speakers of different languages meet, they would usually converse in a neighbouring Austronesian language or, more and more likely, in Pijin. Due to a rising number of marriages between Savosavo speakers and speakers of other languages, more and more children grow up in a Pijin-speaking household, and Pijin is used more and more in village meetings and other official gatherings.
The most important contact languages, apart from Pijin, are Gela, Ghari and Bughotu, which are Austronesian languages spoken on neighbouring islands (see map on www.ethnologue.com), and, in the case of Gela, also in one of the twelve districts on Savo Island. Especially Gela and Savosavo share a high proportion of the lexicon, but, as far as can be said at present, almost no grammatical properties.