Dimasa language

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Dimasa
Grao-Dima / গ্রাউ ডিমা
Native to India
Region Assam, Nagaland
Ethnicity Dimasa
Native speakers
137,184 (2011 census)[1]
Eastern Nagari script, Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 dis
Glottolog dima1251[2]

The Dimasa language is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Dimasa people in Northeastern part of India , states of Assam and Nagaland. The Dimasa language is known to Dimasas as "Grao-Dima" and it is similar to Chutia, Bodo, Kokborok and Garo language of India.

Etymology

The Dimasa language is one of the oldest languages spoken in North East India, particularly in Assam. The word Dimasa etymologically translates to "Son of the big river" (Dima-river, sa-sons), the river being the mighty Brahmaputra. The Dimasa word "Di", meaning water, forms the root of the names of many of the major rivers of Assam and of North East India in general, such as Digrung which means narrow river, Diyung which means huge river, Dikrang, which means green river, Dikhow, which means fetched water, and many others. The mighty river Brahmaputra is known as Dilao (long river) among the Dimasas even now. Many of the important towns and cities in Assam and Nagaland received their names from Dimasa words such as Diphu, Dimapur (a capital of the Dimasa Kingdom), Hojai, Khaspur, etc. In fact, the Dimasa language is one of the last languages of North East India to retain its original vocabulary without being compromised by foreign languages.

Geographical distribution

Dimasa is spoken in:

Grammar

Dimasa grammar is a very mildly inflected language. The verbs are rarely inflected for number, but not for gender and person.

Nouns

The nouns can be proper, common, abstract, collective etc.

Proper Nouns

Deringdao(Dimasa male name), Lairingdi(Dimasa female name)

Common nouns

Miya/Mia/Mya(boy), Masainjik(girl)

Abstract nouns

Khajama(happiness), Dukhu(sadness)

Pronouns

Ang(1st person singular)
Jing (1st person plural)
Ning(2nd person singular)
Nisi(2nd person plural)
Bo(3rd person singular)
Bunsi(3rd person plural)

Adjectives

Guju- Tall, Gédé- big

Sentence syntax

Usually it is of S+O+V type. For example:
Ang (S) makham (O) jidu(V).
That means - I am having food.

Another one,
Bo(S) makham jidu.
That means - He/she is having food.

Thus, we can see that the verb is rarely inflected for person and gender.

It can also be of the type O+ V+ S. For example:
Makham(O) jidu(V) ang(S).
That also means - I am having food.

Writing system

Dimasa is written using the Latin script, which has been introduced in the lower primary education system in Dima Hasao District. The main guiding force behind it is the Dimasa Lairidim Hosom, a literary apex body of the Dimasa community.[3]

The Bengali script is used in Cachar, where the Bengali people live alongside Dimasas.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dimasa". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ http://online.assam.gov.in/tribes_of_assam#Dimasa Kachari
  4. ^ "Index of languages by writing system". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
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