Konyak language

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Native to Nagaland, India
Ethnicity Konyak
Native speakers
244,477 (2011 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nbe
Glottolog kony1248[2]
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Konyak is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Konyak people of Nagaland, northeastern India.


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Konyak.

  • Angphang
  • Hopao
  • Changnyu
  • Chen
  • Chingkao
  • Chinglang
  • Choha
  • Gelekidoria
  • Jakphang
  • Longching
  • Longkhai
  • Longmein
  • Longwa
  • Mon
  • Mulung
  • Ngangching
  • Sang
  • Shanlang
  • Shunyuo
  • Shengha
  • Sima
  • Sowa
  • Shamnyuyanga
  • Tableng (Angwangku, Kongon, Mohung, Wakching)
  • Tabu
  • Tamkhungnyuo
  • Tang
  • Tobunyuo
  • Tolamleinyua
  • Totok

Tableng is the standard dialect spoken in Wanching and Wakching.


There are three lexically contrastive contour tones in Konyak – rising (marked in writing by an acute accent – á), falling (marked by a grave accent – à) and level (unmarked).[3]


Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Mid e ə o
Open a

The vowels /a/, /o/ and /u/ are lengthened before approximants. /ə/ doesn't occur finally.


Bilabial Dental/
Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p
c k
Nasal m ɲ ŋ
Fricative s h
Lateral l
Approximant w j

The stops /p/ and /k/ contrast with the aspirated /pʰ/ and /kʰ/. /p/ and /c/ become voiced intervocalically across morpheme boundaries. The dental /t/ is realised as an alveolar if preceded by a vowel with a rising tone. The approximants /w/ and /j/ are pronounced laxer and shorter after vowels; /w/ becomes tenser initially before high vowels. If morpheme-initial or intervocalic, /j/ is pronounced with audible friction.[4] /pʰ/, /kʰ/, /c/, /ɲ/, /s/, /h/ and /l/ do not occur morpheme-finally, while /ʔ/ does not appear morpheme-initially. Except for morpheme-initial /kp/ and /kʰl/, consonant clusters occur only medially.[5]


  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). "Konyak Naga". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Nagaraja 2010, p. 8
  4. ^ Nagaraja 2010, pp. 21–2
  5. ^ Nagaraja 2010, p. 23


  • Nagaraja, K.S. (2010), Konyak Grammar, Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages, ISBN 81-7342-195-1 

Further reading

  • Ine Jongne Jame (1957), Primer for Adults in Konyak Language, Guwahati 
  • Kumar, Brij Bihari (1972), Hindi-Konyak Dictionary, Kohima: Nagaland Bhasha Parishad 
  • Kumar, Brij Bihari (1972), Konyak Vyakaran ki Ruprekha, Kohima: Nagaland Bhasha Parishad 
  • Nagaraja, K.S. (1996), Kinship terms in Konyak Naga (PDF) 
  • Nagaraja, K.S., Konyak–Hindi–English Dictionary, Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages 
  • Nagaraja, K.S., "Relativization in Konyak", Indian Linguistics, 45: 41–8 
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