A language of Nicaragua

Alternate Names
Marquito, Mískitu, Miskuto, Mísquito, Mosquito

154,000 in Nicaragua (1993 census). Population total all countries: 183,000. Ethnic population: 154,000 (1993).


Atlántico Norte and Atlántico Sur autonomous regions and Jinotega Department; from Pearl lagoon to Black river, coast and lowlands; Puerto Cabeza city; Prinzapolka, Tronquera, San Carlos (Río Coco), Waspam, Leimus, Bocana de Paiwas, Karawala, Sangnilaya, Wasla, Sisin, Rosita, Bonanza, Siuna, Bihmuna, and all along Río Coco area.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in northern, southern Atlantic regions (1993, Atlantic Coast Languages Act, Article 4).


Baymuna (Baldam, Baymunana), Cabo (Kabo), Honduran Mískito (Mam), Tawira (Tauira), Wanki (Wangki). Reportedly most similar to Mayangna [yan]. Wanki dialect spoken in Puerto Cabeza area; other dialects in settlements southwest.


SOV; articles, relatives after noun heads, word order distinguishes subject and object; verb affixes mark person and number; ergative; passive; CVC; nontonal.

Language Use

Mainly adults. Also use English [eng], Nicaragua Creole English [bzk], Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by Mayangna [yan], Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 52%–58%. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1999.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Educational materials in Wanki. Christian.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All