Dimasa language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Native to India
Region Assam, Nagaland
Ethnicity Dimasa
Native speakers
110,671 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 dis
Glottolog dima1251[2]

The Dimasa language is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Dimasa people in the North East Indian states of Assam and Nagaland. The Dimasa language is known to Dimasas as "Grao-Dima" and is similar to Kokborok.


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" (Di- Water, ma- suffix for great, 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 Dikrang, which means green river, Dikhow, which means fetched water, Diyung, which means huge river, 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), Dispur, 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:

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


  1. ^ http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Census_Data_2001/Census_Data_Online/Language/Statement1.aspx 2001 census
  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. ^ http://www.omniglot.com/writing/langalph.htm
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