A language of Nicaragua

Alternate Names
Marquito, Miskuto, Mosquito, Mísquito

114,000 in Nicaragua (2009 UNSD). Ethnic population: 121,000 (2005 census). Total users in all countries: 143,000.


Jinotega department; North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region and South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region; Bihmuna, Bocana de Paiwas, Bonanza, Karawala, Leimus, Prinzapolka, Puerto Cabeza city, Rosita, San Carlos (Río Coco), Sangnilaya, Sisin, Siuna, Tronquera, Wasla, Waspam; Río Coco area and Pearl lagoon to Black river coast and lowlands.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Recognized language (1993, Official Language Use, Atlantic Autonomous Regions, Law No. 162, Article 4).


Honduran Mískito (Mam), Tawira (Tauira), Baymuna (Baldam, Baymunana), Wanki (Wangki), Cabo (Kabo). 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

Some young people, all adults. Also use English [eng], Nicaragua Creole English [bzk], Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by Mayangna [yan], Spanish [spa], Ulwa [ulw].

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.

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