Ethnologue: Areas: Americas


Republic of Honduras, República de Honduras. 5,968,000 (1995). Literacy rate 56% to 60%. Also includes Arabic 42,000, Chinese 2,000. Information mainly from SIL 1991. Christian. Blind population 1,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf institutions: 2. Data accuracy estimate: A1, A2. The number of languages listed for Honduras is 9.

ENGLISH [ENG] 11,000 first language speakers in Honduras (1982 SIL); 322,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Bay Islands (Guanaja, Roatán, Utila). Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English. Dialects: BAY ISLANDS ENGLISH (WEKA), CALABASH BIGHT. The language seems to have borrowed Creole features similar to Jamaica and Central America without having undergone creolization (John Holm 1983). They understand at least some of San Andrés Creole (Colombia). They may not understand Limón Creole (Costa Rica) and they say Jamaican is different. A 'stronger dialect' in Calabash Bight needs investigation. Bible 1535-1989. NT 1525-1985. Bible portions 1530-1987.

GARÍFUNA (CARIBE, CENTRAL AMERICAN CARIB, BLACK CARIB) [CAB] 75,000 in Honduras (1995 UBS); 16,700 in Guatemala; 12,274 in Belize (1991 census); 1,500 in Nicaragua; 94,500 in all countries. 40 towns in all countries. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean. Coastal. Christian, traditional religion. NT 1983-1994. Bible portions 1847-1968.

LENCA [LEN] Only a few speakers out of about 50,000 ethnic population. La Paz, Intibucá, Lempira, Comayagua, and Santa Bárbara Departments. Also in El Salvador. Unclassified. Speakers are bilingual in Spanish. Some consider it to be Macro-Chibchan. The dialect in El Salvador is different. Nearly extinct.

MÍSKITO (MÍSQUITO, MÁRQUITO, MÍSKITU, MOSQUITO) [MIQ] 10,000 in Honduras; 150,000 in Nicaragua (1982 Mesoamerica); 160,000 total. Gracias a Dios Department. Misumalpan. 5% to 25% literate. Trade language. NT 1905-1975. Bible portions 1889-1958. Work in progress.

PECH (PAYA, TAYA, TAWKA, SECO) [PAY] 200 to 300 speakers out of 600 to 800 in the ethnic group (1990 SIL). North central coast, Municipio Dulce Nombre de Culmí, Olancho Department. 300 ethnic Paya are also in Santa María del Carbón, but the language is nearly extinct there. Chibchan, Paya. There is a lot of interest in the community in preserving the Pech language, and some work is being done to preserve it. Speakers are bilingual in Spanish. Typology: SOV. Levels of bilingualism in Spanish are 4:100%.

PIPIL [PPL] No speakers in Honduras; 20 in El Salvador. Municipio of Dolores, Ocotepeque Department, near El Salvador border. Uto-Aztecan, Southern Uto-Aztecan, Aztecan, Pipil. Small, isolated group of ethnic Pipil. Nearly extinct.

SPANISH (ESPAÑOL, CASTELLANO) [SPN] 5,800,000 in Honduras (1995 estimate); 266,000,000 in all countries (1987 Time). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. National language. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1986. Bible portions 1514-1985.

SUMO (SUMU, SOUMO, SUMOO, WOOLWA) [SUM] 500 in Honduras; 6,700 in Nicaragua (1982); 7,200 total. Misumalpan. Bilingual in Miskito. Same language as in Nicaragua, but different dialect. 25% to 50% literate. Typology: SOV.

TOL (TOLPAN, TURRUPAN, JICAQUE, XICAQUE, HICAQUE) [JIC] 300 speakers out of an ethnic group of 593 (1990 Educación Comunitaria para la Salud-Honduras). Montaña de la Flor, northern Francisco Morazán Department, north central Honduras. Language Isolate. No distinct dialects. It may be distantly related to Subtiaba of Nicaragua (extinct linguistically), Tlapaneco of Mexico, or the Hokan languages. Speakers are of all ages. Varying degrees of bilingualism in Spanish; adult male leaders are more fluent, women and children are more limited. Ethnic Tol who do not speak Tol speak Spanish. 5% to 15% literate. Typology: SOV. Christian, traditional religion. NT 1993. Bible portions 1977-1981.

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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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