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The Mina language is spoken in Northern Cameroon. Another language of the same name is found in India.

The Mina language -- also known in linguistic literature by the names Hina and Besleri -- is classified as a Chadic language (part of the wider Afro-Asiatic group) (Frajzyngier & Johnston (2005)). Further, the language is classified as a member of the Biu-Mandara group, subgroup A, branch A7 (cf. Newman (1992) and Ethnologue 14 (2000)).

The language is spoken in Northern Cameroon by a population estimated at around 10,000 (Ethnologue 14 (2000)). Frajzyngier & Johnston (2005) define three Mina dialects: Marbak, Kefedjevreng and Dzundzun, whereas Ethnologue 14 (2000) defines the following three dialects Besleri, Jingjing (Dzumdzum), Gamdugun. While the relationship between the names Jingjing and Dzundzun is clear, the relationships between the four others is unclear. Mutual intelligibility between dialects is difficult to ascertain, but Frajzyngier & Johnston (2005:3) demonstrate one-way intelligibility between Dzundzun and Mina (presumably the Marbak dialect).

The speakers of Mina are generally bilingual, with Fulfulde (Fula) being the second language. Fulfulde is often joined by French as a third language in educated speakers.

[edit] References

Frajzyngier, Zygmunt & Johnston, Eric. (2005). A Grammar of Mina. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Grimes, Barbara F. (Ed.) (2000). Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 14th edition. Dallas: SIL International.

Newman, Paul. (1992). 'Chadic Languages.' In: Bright, William. International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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