|Region||west of Hanoi|
|1.1 million (1999 census)|
Muong (thiểng Mường) is a group of dialects spoken by the Mường people of Vietnam. They are in the Austroasiatic languages family and closely related to Vietnamese. According to Phan (2012), the Mường dialects are not a single language, or even most closely related to each other, but rather are an ethnically defined and paraphyletic taxon.
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal Nasal /m/ /n/ /ɲ/ /ŋ/ Stop voiceless /p/ /t/ /c/ /k/ aspirated /pʰ/ /tʰ/ /kʰ/ voiced /b/ /d/ /ɡ ~ ɣ/ Fricative voiceless /s/ /h/ voiced /β/ /z ~ j/ Lateral /l, tl ~ kl/
The Mường Vang dialect completely lacks the distinction between the voiced and unvoiced stop pairs /p b/, /t d/, /k ɡ/, having only the voiceless one of each pair. The Mường Khói and Mường Ống dialects have the full voiceless series, but lack /ɡ/ among the voiced stops. The Thạch Sơn dialect on the other hand lacks /p/.
Furthermore, the Mường Khói dialect lacks the aspirated alveolar /tʰ/, but has a /hr/ instead. This dialect is also described as having the labio-velars /kʷ/ and /kʷʰ/.
All of these consonants can appear syllable-initially. At the end of syllables only the nasals /m n ɲ ŋ/, the voiceless stops /p t c k/, the lateral /l/, and the glides /j w/ are allowed. Of these phonemes, the palatals /c ɲ/ have been analysed as glide + velar /ʲk ʲŋ/. Furthermore the distribution of syllable-final /c ɲ l/ seems to be more restricted than the distribution of the other final consonants.
The vowel inventory is given in the following table. It appears to be quite uniform among the different dialects. Two of the vowels (/ɤ/ and /a/) can be long or short.
Front Back unrounded rounded High /i/ /ɯ/ /u/ Higher mid /e/ /ɤ, ɤ̆/ /o/ Lower Mid /ɛ/ /ɔ/ Low /a, ă/
Apart from these monophthongs, there are also three diphthongs /iə, ɯə, uə/.
- Thiểng Mường at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Hà Quang Phùng 2012, p. 1.
- Phan, John D. 2012. "Mường is not a subgroup: Phonological evidence for a paraphyletic taxon in the Viet-Muong sub-family." Mon-Khmer Studies 40:1-18.
- Hà Quang Phùng 2012, p. 2.
- Nguyễn Văn Tài 1982, I.2
- Nguyễn Văn Tài 1982, II.3.3.2
- Nguyễn Văn Tài 1982, II.3.3.1
- Nguyễn Văn Tài 1982, II.3.3.3
- Hà Quang Phùng (2012-09-06). "Tìm hiểu về ngữ pháp tiếng Mường (Thim hiếu wuê ngử pháp thiểng Mường)" [Understanding Muong grammar] (FlashPaper) (in Vietnamese, Muong). Thanh Sơn–Phú Thọ Province Continuing Education Center. (More)
- Nguyễn Văn Tài (1982). Ngữ âm tiếng Mường qua các phương ngôn [Phonetics of the Mường language through its dialects] (Ph.D.) (in Vietnamese).
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