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Mango

Audio recordings: Andrew Hsiu. (2017). Mango audio word list. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1123367
Transcribed word list (2014)
Word list in Mondzish lexical database (2017)

On April 21, 2013, which was market day in Babao Town, I discovered the Mango language of Mumei 木美. It is also spoken in Zhelai 者赖. there are only elderly speakers in both villages. My informant was Gui Yongquan 桂永权 (born May 17, 1949; male). He did not know the Mango people's ancestral place of origin. He also reported 72 villages in Heizhiguo and Babao with the prefix Mu- 木.

Mango (ma⁵⁵ŋo²¹) is a critically endangered language spoken only by the elderly in the two villages of Mumei 木美 (mei⁵⁵te³³) and Zhelai 者赖 (ɕi⁵⁵te³³) of Babao Town (ba³³wo²¹), Guangnan County, Yunnan, China. There should be no more than 50 speakers in both villages. Ziwo Lama (2012) reports another Mangish variety known as Manga (ma³³ŋa³³) is spoken in nearby Gedang village 格当村, Funing County, but whether Manga and Mango are mutually intelligible or not remains open to question. The Guangnan County Almanac (2001) also lists them as a Yi subgroup called “Guwo 估涡” in Mumei 木美. It is possible that this is an exonym given to them by other Yi groups, where the Chinese transliteration “wo 涡” would correspond to ŋo²¹ in the autonym ma⁵⁵ŋo²¹, and “gu 估” would be general prefix for ethnic Yi or Lolo.

Based on their similar autonyms and neighboring locations, Mango and Manga could possibly be closely related languages, although this has yet to be confirmed with Lama’s unpublished data of Manga. Ziwo Lama had collected a word list of Manga in 2003, but none of the data has been included in Ziwo Lama (2012).

Mango is the only Mangish language that has final stops. I have found two final stops /-t/ and /-k/, as in ʑat⁵³ ‘chicken’ and tjok⁵³ ‘nose’. Nong Zhuang is the only other language in contact with Mango that has final stops. Since Mango is spoken relatively close to the Zhuang-majority town center of Babao, frequent contact with Zhuang may have likely helped Mango retain (or develop) final stops.

References
Hsiu, Andrew. 2014. "Mondzish: a new subgroup of Lolo-Burmese". In Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Chinese Languages and Linguistics (IsCLL-14). Taipei: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica.
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