Mon

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A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Aleng, Mou, Mun, Peguan, Raman, Rman, Rmen, Takanoon, Talaing, Taleng, Teguan
Population

743,000 in Myanmar (2004), decreasing. Very few monolinguals. Population total all countries: 851,000. Ethnic population: 1,000,000.

Location

Mon and Kayin states, Tanintharyi, Bago, Yangon, and Mandalay Divisions. Also in Thailand.

Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Martaban-Moulmein (Central Mon, Mon Te), Pegu (Mon Tang, Northern Mon), Ye (Mon Nya, Southern Mon). Intelligibility between Mon varieties high; between Mon in Thailand and Myanmar 99% (Huffman 1976). Varieties in Myanmar and Thailand “mutually intelligible” (Bauer 1990) but lexical borrowings from Thai and Burmese may cause miscommunication (Guillon 1999). Lexical similarity: 69% with Mon and Nyah Kur [cbn] (Huffman 1976).

Typology

SVO

Language Use

Vigorous in some rural areas and in Three Pagodas border area. Low or no usage in urban centers. Many domains in some communities; only among the elderly, in the monastery, or not at all in other communities. All ages. Positive attitudes. Widespread bilingualism; some language shift. Also use Burmese [mya].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Some literacy among the older generation; very low literacy rates among those under 40. Taught in some Buddhist monasteries in both Myanmar and Thailand. Some literacy efforts made on Thailand-Myanmar border. Poetry. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1928.
Writing
Myanmar (Burmese) script.
Other Comments

Included in official ethnic group list as Mon. Remnants of a nation that once spread over south Myanmar and west Thailand. Preferred names: Mon or Raman. Buddhist.

Also spoken in:

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