Burmese

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A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Bama, Bamachaka, Myamasa, Myanma, Myanmar, Myen
Population

42,000,000 in Myanmar, all users. 32,000,000 (Bradley 2007a), increasing. 250,000 Beik, 20,000 Yaw. 10,000,000. Total users in all countries: 42,875,600 (as L1: 32,875,600; as L2: 10,000,000).

Location

Widespread in central Myanmar.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1974, Constitution, Articles 102, 152(b), 198).

Dialects

Beik (Merguese, Mergui), Yaw, Mandalay Burmese, Yangon Burmese. Diglossic high and low varieties.

Typology

SOV; noun head final; tense and aspect; 31 consonants, 8 vowels, 4 diphthongs; tonal (3 tones).

Language Use

Many Mon, some Shan, some Karen are monolingual in Burmese. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

Language Development
Taught in primary and secondary schools. Fully developed. Bible: 1835–2006.
Writing

Braille script [Brai]. Myanmar (Burmese) script [Mymr], primary usage.

Other Comments

The official language name is Myanmar. Educated speech has many Pali borrowings. Buddhist.

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