As a Centre Ring language of Narrow Grassfields, a subdivision of Wide Grassfields within the Southern Bantoid languages, Mmen is part of a cluster including six other languages i.e. Babanki, Bum, Kom, Kuk, Kung and Oku (Lewis 2009).
The name Mmen ([mɛn]) comes from the verb sé mwɛ̀yn [sémɣɛ̀yn] ‘to open up thick bush-covered land’ and is used by the speakers referring to both their language and their land. It was also used by surrounding people until the German colonizers entered the area and gave it the name Bafumen . Bafumen is also the name of the village where the largest number of speakers is found i.e. 30 000 (Troyer, et al. 1995:8). Ethnologue (Lewis 2009) and ALCAM, Atlas Linguistique du Cameroon (Dieu and Renaud 1983) use the name and spelling Mmen and is therefore the name used within this paper as well. Other villages where Mmen is spoken are Cha’, Yemgeh, Nyos, Ipalim among others.
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- HUEY, Paul; MBONGUE, Joseph; TROYER, Duane, authors. 1995. A rapid appraisal survey of Mmen (ALCAM 821) and Aghem dialects (ALCAM 810), Menchum Division, Northwest Province.
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