Mono language (Congo)

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Native to Democratic Republic of the Congo
Region Northwestern corner of Congo (DRC)
Native speakers
(65,000 cited 1984 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mnh
Glottolog mono1270[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Mono is a language spoken by about 65,000 people[3] in the northwestern corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is one of the Banda languages, a subbranch of the Ubangian branch of the Niger–Congo languages. It has five dialects: Bili, Bubanda, Mpaka, Galaba, and Kaga.

Mono has 33 consonant phonemes, including three labial-velar stops (/k͡p/, /ɡ͡b/, and prenasalized /ᵑ͡ᵐɡ͡b/), an asymmetrical eight-vowel system, and a labiodental flap /ⱱ/ (allophonically a bilabial flap [ⱳ]) that contrasts with both /v/ and /w/. It is a tonal language.


Consonants in Mono: m, k, j, p , w, n, s, t, b, l, h, g, d, ɲ, f, t̠ʃ, ʔ, ʃ, r, z, d̠ʒ, v, gb, kp, ʒ, ɓ, mb, ŋg, nd, ɗ, n̠d̠ʒ, ŋmɡb, ⱱ. 

Vowels in Mono: i, a, u, o, ɨ, ə, e, ɔ. 

Tones in Mono: high, low, medium


  1. ^ Mono at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Mono (Democratic Republic of Congo)". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Ethnologue report for Mono
  • Kamanda-Kola, Roger. 2003. Phonologie et morpho-syntaxe du mono: Langue oubanguienne du Congo R.D. (LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 60). Munich: LINCOM EUROPA.
  • Olson, Kenneth S. (2004), "Mono" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (02): 233–238, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001744 
  • Olson, Kenneth S. 2005. The phonology of Mono (SIL International and the University of Texas at Arlington Publications in Linguistics 140). Dallas: SIL & UTA.
  • Olson, Kenneth S. & Brian E. Schrag. 2000. 'An overview of Mono phonology'. In H. Ekkehard Wolff & Orin Gensler (eds.), Proceedings from the 2nd World Congress of African Linguistics, Leipzig 1997, 393–409. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe.

External links[edit]

  • SIL article on new phonetic symbol for labiodental flap