Mengisa

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A language of Cameroon

Alternate Names
Mangisa, Mengisa-Njowe, Njowe, Njowi
Population

20,000 (1979 SIL), decreasing.

Location

Centre region: Lekié division, Sa’a subdivision, Sanaga river bend area between the river and Sa’a.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).

Dialects

High exposure to and 97% intelligibility of Ewondo [ewo]. But Ewondo speakers have only 46% with Mengisa. The Mangisa people speak 2 languages: the Mengisa (Njowi) [mct], spoken in the Lekie division, and Leti [leo], closely related to, and perhaps a dialect of, Tuki [bag]. Eton [eto], the A70 variety reportedly most similar to Mengisa (Njowi) is 90% cognate with Mengisa, but a lower comprehension level (91%) (1990 D. Hatfield and C. Regnier). Lexical similarity: 90%–91% with Eton [eto], 81%–97% with Ewondo [ewo] (Risnes 1989).

Language Use

Children losing L1 capability, even in the village. Much intermarriage with Eton [eto], Ewondo [ewo] and certain Mbam languages. Children highly bilingual. Home, with other Mengisa, markets. All ages. Neutral to positive attitudes. Many Mengisa deplore L1 loss in their children. Also use Eton [etn], Ewondo [ewo]. Used as L2 by Leti [leo].

Language Development
No literacy program in place. Radio programs.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

The Mangisa people speak 2 languages: Mengisa (Njowi) and Leti [leo]. Christian.