Mískito

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A language of Nicaragua

Alternate Names
Marquito, Mískitu, Mísquito, Mosquito
Population

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

Location

Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic, 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; South Atlantic Autonomous Region.

Language Status

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

Dialects

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.

Typology

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. Bible: 1999.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Educational materials in Wanki. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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