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Micmac

A language of Canada

ISO 639-3mic

Population  8,960 in Canada, decreasing. Population total all countries: 9,290. Ethnic population: 14,200 in Canada (1998 SIL). In Canada, 1,500 are in mainland Nova Scotia, 4,000 on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, 800 on Prince Edward Island and Lennox Island, 4,550 on the east coast of New Brunswick, 3,150 on the Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, 200 in Newfoundland.
Region  Central and north Nova Scotia. 6 major villages and 1 small village on mainland: Afton, Pictou, Truro, Shubenagadie, Bear River, and Yarmouth, some small communities; 5 major villages on Cape Breton Island: Memberto, Eskasoni, Chapel Island, Wakmatkug, Waikoqomaq. Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick east coast: Fort Folly, Big Cove, Indian Island, Burnt Church, Eel Ground, Red Bank, Pabino Falls, and Eel River Bar; Quyebec, east Gaspe Peninsula, 3 villages: Gespe’q, Gesgapeqiaq, Listuguj; Newfoundland, at Conn River. Also in United States.
Language map  Canada
Alternate names   Mi’gmaq, Mi’kmaq, Miigmao, Restigouche
Dialects  Northern Micmac, Southern Micmac. Generally dialects are intelligible, but there are lexical, inflectional, word order, and spelling differences.
Classification  Algic, Algonquian, Eastern
Language use  Some communities only older adults. Virtually disappeared in 5 communities, 4 of which are in English areas (Shubenagadie, Truro, Eel River Bar, Pabineo Falls) and the 5th in French-speaking Gaspe, Quebec. In larger areas children tend to begin speaking some Micmac, except in Listuguj, where some families educate children in French. In communities such as Gesgapegiaq, use more vigorous. Prayers, songs, readings. Mainly adults. Express desire to maintain Micmac. No monolinguals. In Gesgapegiaq many also use English or French.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 1%–17%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. 800 or more readers of Micmac, 200 write it. Oral and written courses exist in most schools in the primary grades. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1874–1998.
Writing system  Latin script. Micmac Hieroglyphs (Kauder ideograms) script, no longer in use.
Comments  Fishermen; lumbermen. Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

United States

Language name   Micmac
Population  330 in United States (2000 census).
Region  North Maine near Fort Fairfield; Boston, Massachusetts, and scattered elsewhere in the USA.
Language map  Northeastern United States of America
Alternate names  Mi’gmaw, Mi’kmaw, Miigmao, Restigouche
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%.