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About the Languages

This is a collection of 5 languages spoken in the Barak Valley of northeast India: Thadou, Saihriem, Hrangkhol, Ranglong, and Sakachep.

Thadou (iso 639-3 tcz) is spoken by 190,595 speakers (census of India, 2001) in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, and also in Chin Hills of Myanmar. In Manipur, Thadou is spoken side-by-side along with other Kuki-Chin languages and Naga languages. In the southern district of Churachandpur, Thadou shares a higher level of mutual intelligibility with other Kuki-Chin languages, such as Paite, Simte, Gangte, Vaiphei and Zou, which are spoken in the same region. Thadou speakers are found in all the district of Manipur and constitute one of the major tribal languages of the state.

Saihriem, also known as Faihriem, or Syriem, (Glottocode syri1242) is spoken by around 600-700 in five small contiguous villages in the Dwarband subdivision of Cachar district of Barak valley: Balisor, Bagbahar, Noksatilla, Nengpur, Nagathol, Saihriem Kho, and Nagathol. In the Linguistic Survey of India, Grierson (1904: 61) lists Saihriem as one of the dialects of Thadou (documented as ‘Sairang’).[1] Grierson wrote that dialects of Thadou are spoken in the Cachar Plains (present-day Barak valley). Besides the Saihriem proper, Saihriem is spoken as a mother tongue by a few families belonging to the Thadou clans (Chongloi and Changsen) and Vaiphei for many decades that they are now no longer conversant with their counterparts in Manipur or other parts of Northeast India.

Hrangkhol (iso 639-3 hra) is spoken by around 7,000-8,000 speakers spread in Karimganj district of southern Assam, the hills of Tripura surrounding Barak valley, and North Cachar Hills of Assam. In Karimganj district of southern Assam, the Hrangkhols are found in the villages of Zaite, Garmura, Kongpui, Donchera, and Khothar. In the hills of Tripura, Hrangkhol speakers are found in the villages of Sonarai, Bongori, Tumairang, Kila, Tuikoknek, Zion Hill, Depthang, Phertok, Romtuiva. In North Cachar district of Assam, the Hrangkhols live in the villages Zion, Moulpong, Lungkhok, A. Robi, B. Robi, and Barobi respectively.

Ranglong (iso 639-3 rnl) is spoken by around 7,000-8,000 speakers. In Assam, the speakers of Ranglong are found in Karimganj district, namely Langkhanthong, Pipla, Sobiri, Jugichera, Nurka, Jairal, and Sai-et. In the hills of Tripura surrounding Barak valley, the Ranglong settlements are Noagang, Saitha, Laikho, Seisindung, Vomthat, Rothabil, Lungkam, Joynagar, Joitang, and Joilai. In North Cachar Hills, the Ranglongs live in the villages of Halflong, Kaisaneri, and Sotosarganga. Finally, in Mizoram, the Ranglongs are found in Luimoi and Kanmun.

Sakachep (iso 639-3 sch) also called Khelma, Thangachep) is a South-Central Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Northeast India--primarily in Assam and Nagaland.

About the Collection

This collection includes traditional narratives ranging from animal mythology to love stories to the origin of lightning! There are also descriptions of cultural belief systems, ceremonies for weddings, births, and deaths, and procedural narratives about how to make wine, hunt, or organize a village. Many of these recordings are represented in the text collection “Annotated Texts of the Languages of the Barak Valley.”

I extend my sincere thanks to the storytellers: Phalting Haokip and Houjahen Haokip for Thadou, Khuhpi Saihriem and Hoite Saihriem for Saihriem, Hakthoi Phuoitong for Hrangkhol, and Zeisingzong Ranglong for Ranglong. I extend my sincere thanks to the native speakers who assisted with the transcription and translation of these stories: Chungjakhup Khochung, Jacob Aimol, and John Aimol for Saihriem; Labiakthang Hrangkhol and Pachung Hrangkhol for Hrangkhol; Seingirlen Ranglong and Buma Ranglong for Ranglong. My sincere thanks are also due to Ramtanu Brahma and Hemminal Haokip who assisted me during data collection. Fieldwork for these languages was made possible through research grants from Endangered Language Fund, Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Indian government’s University Grant Commission. The goals of this collection are that linguists and other scholars will be able to make use of the texts and analysis provided for further research on the Kuki-Chin (South Central Tibeto-Burman) languages. I hope this book will remain a valuable source of literature for the native communities whose stories are largely transmitted orally even in this day of technological advancement.

Muntinna um sopi, u-le-nao te. Amasan thusim lui ho hinsodoh theidinga ka umtheijih in amasan Pathen kathangvah in ahe. Hiche thusim akila khom hohi, pao kineipi/kibahpi ho ijah ham khatna konna hung kila khom chu ahe. Ihetma bangva hi thusim ijah ham khat hi eiho pao kineipi holah ahin akibang tampi aum me. Hiche chun ipi avetsah ham atileh? Phatsoh laipeh a konna hi ipu ipa teu hin pao khat anaotho va, chuleh thusim khat seh bou ana chin u ahe. Ahin, phat leh nikho ache dungjuijin, ipao uleh iham ujong ahung kikhel jep jep in chuleh ithusim ujong ahung chom jep jep tai. Ahin hoitah leh giltah a ikhola ahileh ithusim-u tamtah hi akibang ngen ahe. Hiche thusim ho ahung kilahna paoho chu ahileh: Thadou-Kuki, Saihriem, Hrangkhol, Ranglong, Sakachep ahiuve. Thusim hohi atamjo akibang kila khom ahin. Akibang lou thusim jong ijat ham khat apang nai. Alhangpia thusim ho chu ahileh, Thilha thusim, Kithoina doithu, Pupa te gamlen dan, Ju sem dan, Chemtahtepu, Mailangkoh/Mairangkoh, Galngam/ Ralngam, Mairangkoh and Sapinthei, Mainouloute, Lendou leh Khengdou, Lengchonghoi, Lengbante, Khupting leh Ngambom chuleh adang dang tampi jao ahe. Hiche thusim hohi mangtalou ding Awgin (audio) recording a, UNT Digital Library nuoiya avenom, angainom jousen manbei (free) a avetthei ahitai.



At a Glance



Cite This Collection

Here is our suggested citation. Consult an appropriate style guide for conformance to specific guidelines.

Languages of the Barak Valley in UNT Digital Library. University of North Texas Libraries. https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/LGBV/ accessed May 24, 2022.


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