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Awadesh K.

Mishra
English & Foreign Languages University Shillong Campus, Shillong 793022
akmishraeflu@yahoo.com
M.: 9436110345/9774010345

Awadesh K. Mishra, 2010. Paper presented at annual conference at Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, India, 15 July 2010

NER Languages
The North East Region of India comprises 8 States Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. These states are home to more than a hundred languages, which include Adi, Aimol, Anal, Apatani, Angami, Ao, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Bhutia, Bishnupriya , Chakma, Chiru, Chokri, Chang, Chothe, Deori, Dimasa, Gangte, Garo, Gurung, Halam, Hmar, Hrangkhol, Hajong, Kabui, Karbi, Khampti, Khasi, Khiemnungan, Koirao/Thangal, Koireng, Koch, Kokbarak, Kom, Konyak, Kuki, Lakher/ Mara, Lepcha, Liangmei, Limbu/Limboo, Lotha, Mangar/Thapa, Manipuri, Mizo, Mao, Maram, Maring, Miji/Sajolang, Mising, Mishmi, Monpa, Nepali, Newari, Nissi, Nocte, Paite, Phom, Pochury, Purik/Puroik, Rai, Rabha, Ralte, Rengma, Riang, Sadri (a Creole language), Sangtam, Sema, Sherpa, Singpho, Sunuwar/Mukhia, Tai, Tamang, Tangkhul, Tangsa, Tarao, Thado, Tedim/Tiddim, Tiwa, Vaiphei, Wancho, Yimchungre, Zemi/Zeme, Zou, etc. All the languages used in the North East (NE) region except Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, English, Gurung, Hindi, Mangar, Manipuri, Nepali, Newari, Persian, Rai, Sanskrit, Sunuwar and Tai are tribal languages.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 2

STATES/UTs 1. Arunachal Pradesh :

2. Assam:

3. Manipur :

4. Meghalaya :

LANGUAGES/DIALECTS Adi, Aka, Apatani, Bangni, Bugun/Bogum, Deori, Hill Miri, Hindi, Khamba, Kongbo, Khampti, Lisu, Meyor, Miji, Muktum, Mishmi, Monpa, Nah, Nishang, Nepali, Nissi, Nocte, Puroik/Sulung, Sherdukpen, Singpho, Tagin, Taram, Tangsa, Tutsa, Wancho, Zakhring Assamese, Bengali, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Bodo/Boro, Chakma, Deori, Dimasa, Garo, Hajong, Hmar, Kabui/Rongmei, Karbi/Mikir, Khasi (including Jaintia,Pnar), Koch, Tiwa, Mising, Mishmi, Nepali, Rabha, Sonowal Kachari, Tai/ Man, Zemi Aimol, Anal, Chiru, Chothe, Gangte, Hmar, Inpui, Kabui, Kharam, Khoibu, Koirao, Koireng, Kom, Kuki, Lamkang, Liangmei, Lushai/Mizo, Mao, Manipuri, Maram, Maring, Moyon, Mongsang, Nepali, Paite, Paomei, Purum, Simte, Sukte, Tangkhul, Tarao, Thadou-Kuki, Vaiphei, Zemi, Zou Hajong, Garo, Karbi, Khasi, Koch, Nepali, Pnar / Synteng, Rabha
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(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

5. Mizoram : 6. Nagaland :

7. Sikkim :

8. Tripura:

Hmar, Lakher/Mara, Lushai/Mizo, Paite, Lai/Pawi Angami, Ao, Chakru/Chokri, Chang, Khezha, Khiemnungan, Konyak, Kuki, Liangmei, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema/Sumi, Yimchungre, Zemi Bhutia, English, Hindi, Gurung, Lepcha, Limbu, Mangar, Mukhia/Sunuwar, Nepali, Newari, Rai, Sherpa, Tamang Bengali, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Bongcher, Chakma, Darlong, Halam, Hrangkhol, Kokbarak, Korbong, Manipuri, Mogh, Reang, Jamatia
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(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

Scheduled and Non-Scheduled Languages


 Scheduled languages: Five of the 22 scheduled (listed in the VIII Schedule of the Constitution of India) or national languages, viz., Assamese, Bengali, Bodo/Boro, Manipuri and Nepali are spoken in this region.  Non-scheduled languages: Languages listed in the Census of India, 2001: Out of 100 non-scheduled languages mentioned in the Census of India, 2001, sixty one are listed in the Census of India. The rest of the languages are excluded from the list for the reason that each of them is spoken by less than 10,000 persons. Adi, Anal, Angami, Ao, Bhotia (Bhutia), Bishnupriya, Chakesang , Chang, Chokri/Chakru, Deori , Dimasa, Gangte, Garo, Halam, Hmar, Kabui, Karbi, Khasi, Khezha, Khiemnungan, Koch, Kom, Konyak, Kuki, Lakher, Lalung (Tiwa), Lepcha, Liangmei, Limbu, Lotha, Lushai/Mizo, Maram , Maring, Miri/Mising, Mishmi, Mogh, Monpa, Nissi, Nocte, Paite, Pawi (Lai), Phom, Pochury, Rabha, Rai, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Sherpa, Simte, Tamang, Tangkhul, Tangsa, Thado, Tripuri (Kokbarak), Vaiphei, Wancho, Yimchungre, Zeliang , Zemi, Zou. 5
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

 Languages not listed in the Census of India, 2001: Besides the above mentioned scheduled and nonscheduled languages, there are about forty languages spoken in the states of NE which do not find a place in the two lists because each of these are spoken by less than ten thousand persons. Some of them are: Khampti, Miji/Sajolang, Puroik, Sherdukpen, Singpho, Chakma, Darlong, Hrangkhol, Baite/Biate, Sadri, Tai, Aimol, Chiru, Chothe, Koireng, Mao , Tedim/Tiddim, Tarao, Thangal (Koirao), Gurung (Tamu), Mangar (Thapa), Mukhia (Sunuwar), Newari, etc.
6 (c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

Numerically significant languages


States
Arunachal Pradesh

Languages
Nissi Adi Bengali Nepali Hindi Monpa Assamese Wancho Tangsa Assamese Bengali Hindi Bodo Nepali Mising Manipuri Thado Tangkhul Kabui Paite Nepali Hmar

Total Number of speakers


208,337 193,379 97,149 94,919 81,186 55,428 51,551 48,544 34,231 13,010,478 7,343,338 1,569,662 1,296,162 564,790 517,170 1,266,096 178,696 139,979 87,950 48,379 45,998 43,137

Percentage
18.97 17.61 8.85 8.64 7.39 5.05 4.70 4.42 3.12 48.81 27.55 5.89 4.86 2.12 1.94 58.43 8.25 6.46 4.08 2.23 2.12 1.99

Assam

Manipur

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

States
Meghalaya

Languages
Khasi Garo Bengali Nepali Hindi Mizo Bengali Lakher Pawi Tripuri Paite Ao Konyak Lotha Angami Phom Sema Yimchungre Sangtam Chakru / Chokri Chang Zeliang

Total Number of speakers


1,091,087 728,424 185,692 52,155 50,055 650,605 80,389 34,731 24,900 17,580 14,367 257,500 248,002 168,356 131,737 122,454 92,884 92,092 84,150 83,506 62,347 61,492

Percentage
47.06 31.41 8.01 2.25 2.16 73.22 9.05 3.91 2.80 1.98 1.62 12.94 12.46 8.46 6.62 6.15 4.67 4.63 4.23 4.20 3.13 3.09
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Mizoram

Nagaland

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

States
Sikkim

Languages
Nepali Bhotia Hindi Lepcha Limbu Sherpa Tamang Rai Bengali Tripuri (Kokbarak) Hindi Mogh

Total Number of speakers


338,606 41,825 36,072 35,728 34,292 13,922 10,089 8,856 2,147,994 814,375 53,691 28,850

Percentage
62.61 7.73 6.67 6.61 6.34 2.57 1.87 1.64 67.14 25.48 1.58 0.90

Tripura

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

Bi-/Multi-lingualism is a way of life in all the NE states. The number of bi-/trilinguals in the NE states is as follows. The national average with respect to bilinguals is 19.44, and that with respect to trilinguals is 7.26. (i) Scheduled languages (Source: Census of India, 1991) : Languages Assamese Bodo/Boro Manipuri Adi Anal Angami Ao Bhotia Bishnupriya Total number of speakers 130,79,696 1,221,881 1,270,216 1,58,409 12,156 97,631 1,72,449 55,483 59,233 19,78,990 462,686 1,41,773 57,294 7,471 42,995 51,763 33,814 39,765 16,71,331 161,791 2,78,443 33,257 2,601 24,442 21,625 12,537 14,169 15.13 37.87 11.16 36.17 61.46 44.04 30.02 60.94 67.13 Bilinguals Trilinguals % of Bilinguals % of Trilinguals 12.77 13.24 21.92 20.99 21.40 25.04 12.54 22.60 23.92
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(ii) Non-scheduled languages:

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

Chakesang Chang Chokri Deori Dimasa Gangte Garo Halam Hmar Kabui Karbi Khasi Khezha Khiemnungan Koch Kokbarak Kom Konyak Kuki

30,985 32,478 48,207 17,901 88,543 13,695 6,75,642 29,322 65,204 68,925 3,66,229 9,12,283 13,004 23,544 26,179 6,94,940 13,548 1,37,722 58,263

12,517 6,293 13,079 12,322 41,415 4,848 1,23,958 12,282 19,913 29,734 1,70,939 1,14,920 5,127 2,740 10,363 3,10,818 6,497 28,532 27,646

6,638 2,664 6,842 4,093 19,904 1,284 42,896 2,867 8,380 8,163 51,426 30,126 3,470 1,429 5,362 33,555 1,979 12,628 11,753

40.40 19.38 27.13 68.83 46.77 35.40 18.35 41.89 30.54 43.14 46.68 12.60 39.43 11.64 39.59 44.73 47.96 20.72 47.45

21.42 8.20 14.19 22.86 22.48 9.38 6.35 9.78 12.85 11.84 14.04 3.30 26.68 6.07 20.48 4.83 14.61 9.17 20.17
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(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

Lakher Lalung Lepcha Liangmei Limbu Lotha Mao Maram Maring Mising Mishmi Mizo Mogh Monpa Nissi Nocte Paite Phom

22,947 33,746 39,342 27,478 28,174 85,802 77,810 10,144 15,268 3,90,583 29,000 5,38,842 28,135 43,226 1,73,791 30,441 49,237 65,350

6,660 20,762 23,044 10,123 16,907 31,347 24,475 3,765 9,400 2,02,365 12,523 53,253 9,770 11,895 45,571 12,007 11,828 19,483

807 6,074 7,746 3,898 3,810 18,569 14,153 2,187 1,242 48,171 7,516 11,823 467 3,469 26,160 6,669 2,971 10,291

29.02 61.52 58.57 36.84 60.01 36.53 31.45 37.12 61.57 51.81 43.18 9.88 34.73 27.52 26.22 39.44 24.02 29.81

3.52 18.00 19.69 14.19 13.52 21.64 18.19 21.56 8.13 12.33 25.92 2.19 1.66 8.03 15.05 21.91 6.03 15.75

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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Pochury Rabha Rengma Sangtam Sema Sherpa Tangkhul Tangsa Thado Vaiphei Wancho Yimchungre Zeliang Zemi Zou

11,231 1,39,365 37,521 47,461 1,66,157 16,105 1,01,841 28,121 1,07,992 26,185 39,600 47,227 35,079 22,634 15,966

4,923 79,906 9,622 13,141 47,827 10,979 41,199 14,528 40,917 8,887 9,203 9,813 11,034 7,719 4,087

2,683 17,297 6,316 6,708 27,447 3,170 10,742 8,826 9,772 2,278 4,805 4,057 4,346 2,608 1,211

43.83 57.34 25.64 27.69 28.78 68.17 40.45 51.66 37.89 33.94 23.24 20.78 31.45 34.10 25.60

23.89 12.41 16.83 14.13 16.52 19.68 10.55 31.39 9.05 8.70 12.13 8.59 12.39 11.52 7.58

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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Scripts
Except for a few, almost all of the NE languages, in the absence of indigenous writing systems, use the Roman script with modifications. Manipur: Meitei Mayek is used for the Manipuri language. The tribal languages of Manipur use the Roman script. Assam: AssameseAssamese, BengaliBengali, BodoDevanagari, Sadri--Assamese and Devanagari, Deori, Rabha and Tiwa-- Assamese script for official purposes, but the primers in these languages are written in the Roman script, Bishnupriya ManipuriBengali, Tai--Ahom/ Tai, Dimasa-- has been using Assamese, Bengali and Devanagari scripts, but now under pressure from the Dimasa literary society and the demand of the younger generation, use of Roman is increasing day-by-day. Tripura: the policy of the government is to use the Bengali script for all the languages. But Chakma, Halam-Kuki and Kokbarak languages use both the Bengali and the Roman scripts with some modifications. Meghalaya: Garo and KhasiRoman . Arunachal Pradesh: Khampti and Monpa--Lik Tai and Bhoti (Tibetan) respectively. The remaining languages either use the Roman script for writing or are not written at all. Sikkim: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, and Limbu--Devanagari, Lhoyig, Rong or Lepcha and Srijonga respectively, Mangar, Newari, Rai, Sherpa and Sunuwar/Mukhia--Akha, Prachalit, Kirat or Kirawa Chaap, Sambota and Koinch Breshe respectively, Gurung and Tamang--Samboti and Tamyig respectively. Mizoram : All languages use Roman. Nagaland : All languages use Roman.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 14

Number of School Languages Taught as First/Second/Third Languages


In the NE States, a total of sixty eight languages are used either as subjects of instruction or as mediums of instruction. This includes Arabic, English, Hindi, Persian, and Sanskrit. English is used as a subject and first language (medium of instruction) in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim, and as a second language in other 5 states. Hindi is used as a subject of instruction in all the NE states except Tripura. In Assam, it is taught as compulsory second language in classes 5-7, and as an optional subject from class 8 onwards; in Arunachal Pradesh, as a compulsory second language in classes 1-10; in Manipur, as a second language from class 1 to 12; in Nagaland, as a compulsory subject in classes 2-8, and as an optional subject in classes 9-12. Hindi is taught as a subject of instruction in Sikkim from class 3 to 8; and in Meghalaya and Mizoram from class 5 to 8. Arabic and Persian languages are used in the Madarasa schools of Assam and Tripura; and Sanskrit in Arunachal Pradesh (as L3), Assam, Sikkim (in 12 schools) and Tripura. English is used as L2 in all the States except Arunachal Pradesh, where it is used as L1. Hindi is used as L2 in Arunachal Pradesh, and in all other States as L3.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 15

Medium of Instruction (Number of Languages): Elementary : 21 (including English and Hindi) Secondary : 09 (excluding Arabic, English, Hindi, Persian and Sanskrit) Languages used as Subjects of Instruction at Elementary Level: States Languages

Arunachal Pradesh

English, Hindi, Adi, Apatani, Galong, Khampti, Monpa, Nissi, Mishmi, Singpho, Sanskrit Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Deori, Dimasa, English, Garo, Hindi, Hmar, Karbi, Manipuri, Mising, Nepali, Tai, Tiwa, Rabha, Bishnupriya Manipuri Assamese, Bengali,English,Hindi,Hmar,Kom, Mao, Manipuri/Meitei, Mizo, Nepali, Paite, Kabui, Tangkhul, Thado, Vaiphei, Zou
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Assam

Manipur

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

Meghalaya

Assamese, Bengali, English, Garo, Hindi, Khasi, Nepali Chakma, English, Hindi, Lai, Lakher (Mara), Mizo Angami, Ao, Chang, Chokri, English, Khezha, Khiemnungan, Kuki, Konyak, Liangmei, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Yimchungre, Zemi Bhutia, English, Gurung, Hindi, Lepcha, Limbu, Mangar, Nepali, Newari, Rai, Sherpa, Sunuwar/Mukhia, Tamang Bengali, Bishnupriya Manipuri,Chakma, English, Halam Kuki, Kokbarak, Manipuri
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Mizoram

Nagaland

Sikkim

Tripura

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

Languages Used as Mediums of Instruction


STATES NON-TRIBAL LANGUAGES 1. English 1. Assamese 2. Bengali 3. Hindi 4. Manipuri 5. Nepali 1. Manipuri 2. English TRIBAL LANGUAGES None 1. Bodo 2. Garo 3. Hmar (TRIBAL LANGUAGES) USED IN CLASSES ---I-XII I-VII I-VII

Arunachal Pradesh Assam

Manipur

1. Hmar 2. Kom 3. Lushai/Mizo 4. Mao 5. Paite 6. Kabui 7. Tangkhul 8. Thadou-Kuki 9. Vaiphei 10. Zou 1. Chakma 2. Mizo 1. Khasi 2. Garo None None 1. Kokbarak

I-V I-V I-V I-V I-V I-V I-V I-V I-V I-V I-VII I-VII I-XII I-VII ------I-V

Mizoram Meghalaya Nagaland Sikkim Tripura

1. Nepali None 1.English 1. Nepali 1. Bengali

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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Languages Used as Subjects of Instruction


STATES Arunachal Pradesh NON-TRIBAL LANGUAGES
1. English

TRIBAL LANGUAGES
1. Adi 2. Apatani 3. Monpa 4. Gallong 5. Mishmi 6. Nissi 7. Khampti 8. Singpho 1. Bodo 2. Mising 3. Karbi 4. Garo 5. Rabha 6. Dimasa 7. Hmar 8. Tiwa 9. Deori

(TRIBAL LANGUAGES) USED IN CLASSES


VI-VIII VI-VIII VI-VIII VI-VIII VI-VIII VI-VIII VI-VIII VI-VIII I-XII III-IV III-IV III-IV III-IV III-IV III-IV III-IV III-IV

Assam

Manipur

1. Tangkhul 2. Paite 3. Hmar 4. Lushai/Mizo 5. Thadou-Kuki 6. Mao 7. Kabui 8. Zou 9. Vaiphei 10. Kom (c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

1. Arabic 2. Assamese 3. Bengali 4. Bishnupriya 5. Manipuri 6. English 7. Hindi 8. Sanskrit 9. Nepali 10. Persian 11. Tai (used in classes III-IV) 1. Manipuri 2. English 3. Hindi 4. Nepali

I-XII I-XII I-XII I-X I-XII I-X I-V I-X I-X I-X

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Languages Used as Subjects of Instruction


STATES Mizoram NON-TRIBAL LANGUAGES 1. Nepali 2. English 3. Hindi 1. Assamese 2. Bengali 3. English 4. Hindi 5. Nepali 1.English 2. Hindi TRIBAL LANGUAGES 1. Chakma 2. Lai 3. Mara 4. Mizo 1. Garo 2. Khasi 3. Mizo (TRIBAL LANGUAGES) USED IN CLASSES I-VII I-IV I-VII I-XII I-XII I-XII I-XII

Meghalaya

1.Angami/Tenyidie 2.Ao 3.Sema 4.Lotha 5.Konyak 6.Chokri 7.Khezha 8.Zemi 9.Liangmai 10.Kuki 11.Chang 12.Yimchungre 13.Khiemnungan 14.Phom 15.Pochury 16.Rengma 17. Sangtam (c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. Nagaland

I-XII I-XII I-XII I-XII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII I-VIII

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Languages Used as Subjects of Instruction


STATES NON-TRIBAL TRIBAL LANGUAGES LANGUAGES 1. Nepali 1.Bhutia 2. Newari 2.Lepcha 3. Gurung 3.Limbu 4. Mangar 4.Sherpa 5. Rai 5.Tamang 6. Sunuwar 7. English 8. Hindi 9.Sanskrit (in 12 schools in Gangtok) 1.Bishnupriya 1.Kokbarak Manipuri 2.Halam Kuki 2.Manipuri 3.Chakma 3. English 4. Bengali (TRIBAL LANGUAGES) USED IN CLASSES I-XII I-XII I-XII I-V I-V

Sikkim

Tripura

I-VIII I-II I-III

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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In Arunachal Pradesh, English is used as L1; Hindi as L2; and Assamese and Sanskrit languages as L3. English and Hindi are taught up to postgraduate level. Adi, Apatani, Khampti, Nissi, Singpho and Mishmi languages are used in some selected schools as subjects of instruction at primary level (in classes VI-VIII). The Monpa language is taught as a subject of instruction in classes VI-VIII in schools of Tawang area. In Nagaland, English is used from Class I onwards, and 16 state languages, viz., Angami/Tenyidie, Ao, Chang, Chokri, Khiemnungan, Kuki, Konyak, Liangmei, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Yimchungre, Zemi are used as subjects of instruction up to class VI. Angami/Tenyidie and English are taught up to postgraduate level. In Assam, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, English, Garo, Hindi, Hmar, Manipuri and Nepali languages are used as mediums of instruction at Elementary level. English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo and Manipuri languages are used as mediums of instruction as well as L2 at Secondary level. Bishnupriya Manipuri, Deori, Dimasa, Karbi, Mising, Rabha, Tai and Tiwa languages are used as subjects of instruction at primary level in schools (in classes III and IV). Assamese, Bengali, English and Hindi languages are taught up to postgraduate level.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 22

In Mizoram, Lai, Lakher (Mara) and Chakma languages are used as subjects of instruction up to class VI. Mizo is used both as a medium of instruction and as a subject of instruction up to class VII, and it is taught up to postgraduate level. Hindi is used as L2 in classes V -VIII. English is also taught up to postgraduate level. In Sikkim, English is used as L1 from Class I. Hindi is used as L3 in schools. English, Hindi and Nepali languages are taught up to postgraduate level. Bhutia, Gurung (Tamu), Lepcha, Limbu/Limboo, Mukhia (Sunuwar), Mangar (Thapa), Newari, Nepali, Rai, Sherpa and Tamang languages are taught as L2 at various levels. The Bhutia, Lepcha, Limbu/Limboo and Nepali languages are taught from class I onwards (up to under-graduate level), Mangar (Thapa) from class I to III, and Sherpa from class I to VI. The remaining languages are taught as subjects of instruction in classes I-V. In Meghalaya, Assamese, Bengali, Khasi, Garo and Nepali languages are used as L1 at primary level in some of the schools (meant for the respective linguistic communities); English as L2 from Class I onwards; and Hindi as L3 in classes IV-VI in some schools, and in classes V-VIII in some other schools. English, Hindi, Khasi and Garo languages are taught up to postgraduate level.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 23

In Manipur, Assamese, Bengali, English and Hindi are taught as L2 in schools. Mizo, Nepali, and Zou languages are used as subjects of instruction up to class X. Hmar, Paite, Tangkhul and Thado languages are taught up to class XII as subjects of instruction. Kabui and Mao languages are used as subjects of instruction up to classes VIII and X respectively. Manipuri is used as a medium of instruction up to class X. English, Hindi and Manipuri languages are taught up to postgraduate level. In Tripura, Bishnupriya Manipuri and Chakma languages are used as mediums of instruction up to class V. Kokbarak is used up to class V as a medium of instruction, and as a subject of instruction in classes VI-X. Bengali is the medium of instruction in schools from class VI onwards, and is taught up to postgraduate level. English is used as L3 from class I onwards, and is taught up to postgraduate level.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 24

LANGUAGE SHIFT
There are four probable directions of language shift: to other tribal language to own regional language to other regional language to national/international language

Own mother tongue

The NE tribes generally exhibit three (with a couple of exceptions) patterns of shift(i) mother tongue to other tribal language, (ii) mother tongue to own regional language, and (iii) mother tongue to national language.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 25

Arunachal Pradesh
S.No. 1 Tribe Khamti Population 8462 Mother Tongue 254 (Assamese) 205 (Hindi) 7925 (Others) 22086 (Nocte) 1095 (Wancho) 57 (Assamese) 3486 (Others) 261 (Adi) 8786 (Tangsa) 37343 (Wancho) 7217 (Nocte)

2 3 4 5

Nocte Singpho Tangsa Wancho

23418 3575 9682 45182

Assam
S.No. 1 Tribe Dimasa, Kachari Population 65009 Mother Tongue 60668 (Dimasa) 205 (Hindi) 7925 (Others) 1120 (Karbi) 314 (Bengali) 958 (Bodo) 170 (Karbi)

2 3

Hajong Man (Tai)

1638 2582

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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S.No.
4 5 6 7 8

Tribe
Mikir/Karbi Barmans in Cachar Bodo, Bodo Kachari Deori Hojai

Population
285711 13378 1267015 35849 4582

Mother Tongue
280098 2985 (Assamese) 11081 (Dimasa) 2297 (Bengali) 1155070 (Bodo) 103629(Assamese) 16982 (Deori) 13374 (Assamese) 1756 (Assamese) 761 (Bodo) 372 (Dimasa) 651 (Tripura) 205328(Assamese) 36379 (Bodo) 14550 (Lalung) 123737 (Assamese) 112424 (Rabha)

9 10 11

Kachari, Sonowal 251725 Lalung Rabha 143746 236931

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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Manipur
S.No.
1

Tribe
Anal

Population
10642

Mother Tongue
10025 (Anal) 60 (Gangte) 52 (Hindi) 156 (Hmar) 30 (Paite) 182 (Others) 211 (Anal) 11833 (Gangte) 58 (Hindi) 88 (Hmar) 83 (Kabui) 51 (Kuki) 122 (Tangkhul) 82 (Thado) 208 (Dimasa) 286 (Gangte) 880 (Hindi) 58760 (Kabui) 283 (Liangmei) 807 (Zeliang) 465 (Others) 208 (Dimasa) 286 (Gangte) 880 (Hindi) 58760 (Kabui) 283 (Liangmei) 807 (Zeliang) 465 (Others)

Gangte

12793

Hmar

62487

Kabui

62487

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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Manipur
S.No.
5

Tribe
Kacha Naga

Population
33640

Mother Tongue
40 (Anal) 75 (Assamese) 407 (Gangte) 89 (Hindi) 2212 (Kabui) 193 (Kuki) 24409 (Liangmei) 130 (Manipuri) 413 (Zeliang) 111 (Dimasa) 138 (Hindi) 11701 (Kom) 24 (Manipuri) 368 (Thado) 380 (Others) 281 (Hindi) 2350 (Kabui) 663 (Khezha) 71135 (Mao) 718 (Maram) 116 (Thado) 1343 (Others) 54 (Anal) 36 (Adi) 343 (Gangte) 8352 (Maram) 521 (Maring) 463 (Others)

Kom

13003

Mao

76972

Maram

9592

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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S.No. 9

Tribe Tangkhul

Population 107244

Mother Tongue 94 (Anal) 1242 (Chakesang) 216 (Gangte) 277 (Hindi) 149 (Kuki) 70 (Manipuri) 38 (Maring) 56 (Nepali) 87 (Paite) 103712 (Tangkhul) 379 (Thado) 177 (Vaiphei) 142 (Others) 139 (Anal) 1051 (Gangte) 791 (Kabui) 74 (Hindi) 103 (Kom) 228 (Kuki) 107 (Paite) 159 (Tangkhul) 806 (Thado) 22805 (Vaiphei) 262 (Others)

10

Vaiphei

26877

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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Meghalaya
S.No.
1

Tribe
Garo

Population
546734

Mother Tongue
539346(Garo) 3997 (Khasi) 720 (Hindi) 331 (Koch) 161 (Nepali) 139 (Rabha) 337 (Others) 37 (Bodo/Boro) 394(Garo) 1980 (Assamese) 26097(Bengali) 964 (Hindi) 300 (Koch) 125 (Karbi/Mikir) 853478 (Khasi) 9892 (Garo) 1965 (Karbi/Mikir) 1158 (Hindi) 496 (Nepali) 397 (Lalung) 249 (Assamese) 249 (Bengali) 103 (Lushai/Mizo) 70 (Vaiphei) 933 (Others)

Hajong

29997

Khasi (including Jaintia, Synteng,Pnar, War, Bhoi, Lyngngam)

870165

19608 (Rabha) 4578 (Assamese) 161 (Bodo/Boro) 348 (Garo) (c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 19 (Others) Raba/Rava 24859

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Mizoram
S.No. 1 Tribe Chakma Population 54217 Mother Tongue 48137(Bengali) 1313 (Lushai/ Mizo) 2121 (Lakher) 6932 (Hmar) 4015 (Lushai/ Mizo) 1357 (Paite) 23381 (Lakher) 1128 (Lushai/ Mizo) 14010 (Pawi) 11600 (Lushai/ Mizo)

Hmar

12535

3 4

Lakher Pawi

24884 27649

Nagaland
S.No.
1

Tribe
Angami

Population
97408

Mother Tongue
74032 (Angami) 575 (Ao) 640 (Chakru/Chokri) 131 (Khezha) 471 (Lotha) 149 (Pochury) 252 (Sema) 857 (Zeliang) 17987 (Others)

162209 (Ao) 1079 (Angami) 317 (Chang) 174 (Hindi) 217 (Nepali) 356 (Sema) (c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 165893

Ao

32

S.No.
3

Tribe
Chakesang

Population
89166

Mother Tongue
28398 (Chakesang) 43091 (Chokru/ Chokri) 10953 (Kheza) 3332 (Mao)

4 5 6

Phom Rengma Sangtam

65339 32368 28199

54013 (Phom) 9066 (Sema) 28391 (Rengma) 1624 (Bengali) 45720 (Sangtam) 2664 (Chang) 1129 (Sema) 1058 (Yimchungre) 139457 (Sema) 4985 (Chang)

Sema

150780

Sikkim
S.No. 1 Tribe Bhutia(including Chumlipa, Dopthapa) Population 59449 Mother Tongue 32283 (Bhotia) 13100 (Sherpa) 2420 (Tibetan) 6777 (Nepali) 1318 (Lepcha) 27224 (Lepcha) 1954 (Nepali) 547 (Bhotia) 163 (Sherpa)

Lepcha

30266

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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Tripura
S.No. Tribe Population Mother Tongue

Chakma

96096

95195 (Bengali) 125 (Magh) 591 (Tripuri) 22013 (Halam) 361 (Bengali) 13759 (Tripuri) 27402 (Mogh) 2688 (Bengali) 605 (Tripuri) 876 (Others) 4210 (Kurukh/Orang) 791 (Oriya) 421 (Bengali) 933 (Hindi) 81 (Tripuri) 453830 (Tripuri) 5389 (Bengali)

Halam

36499

Mag (Mogh)

31612

Orang

6751

Tripuri, Tripura, Tippera

461531

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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ENDANGERED LANGUAGES IN NER


 Out of 196 Indian languages (and dialects) declared as endangered languages, 89 languages (and dialects) are located in the NER: Adi, Ahom, Aimol, Aiton, Aka, Anal, Angami, Ao, Apatani, Bawm, Biete, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Bodo, Bokar, Chang, Chokri, Deori, Dimasa, Galo, Gangte, Hill Miri, Hmar, Hrangkhol, Idu, Kabui, Kachari, Karbi, Khamba, Khampti, Khasi, Kheza, Khiamngan, Khoirao, Khowa, Koch, Koireng, Kokborok, Kom, Konyak, Lamgang, Lepcha, Lotha, Liangmai, Limbu, Lishpa, Mao, Mara, Maram, Maring, Mech, Meitei, Miji, Miju, Milang, Minyong, Mising, Mizo, Moyon, Mzieme, Na, Nocte, Nyishi, Padam, Paite, Pasi, Phom, Pochuri, Purum, Rabha, Rengma, Ruga , Sangtam, Sherdukpen, Sherpa, Singpho, Sulung, Tagin, Tai Phake, Tamang, Tangam, Tangkhul, Tangsa, Tarao, Thado, Tiwa, Tshangla , Wancho, Yimchungru, Zeme.  The 89 endangered languages, in fact, include some dialects [e.g., Bokar, Galo, Milang, Minyong, Padam, Pasi, Tangam, Idu, Miju, etc. ) and alternate names of the same language (e.g., Hill Miri and Mising; Ahom, Aiton and Tai Phake; Mzieme and Zeme; Khampti and Khamba; Tshangla and Lishpa (Monpa)].  Some languages (having less than 10000 speakers ), which are really critically endangered, are not included in the list of endangered languages (e.g., Chakma, Newari, Sunuwar, Thangal, Tarao, etc.).
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 35

An endangered language is a language headed for extinction. It is a language without monolingual speakers, people who speak only that language. It is a language spoken by a minority of people in the nation and for that reason is held in low esteem, causing its speakers to avoid using it or passing it on to their children. Because it is not useful in the society, perhaps even a social liability, an endangered language is not passed on by parents to their children. Speaking the majority language better equips children for success in the majority culture than speaking a less prestigious language. Some governments actively discourage minority language use. The important points to keep in mind are these: (1) large numbers of languages, probably the majority, are in danger of extinction and (2) many more have not yet been described in grammars and dictionaries. More often language death is the culmination of language shift, resulting from a complex of internal and external pressures that induce a speech community to adopt a language spoken by others. These may include changes in values, rituals, or economic and political life resulting from trade, migration, intermarriage, or religious conversion. Conceiving language loss as a Darwinian process implies that some languages are fitter than others, that the "developed" will survive and the "primitive" will go the way of the dinosaurs. A language can kill itself' by becoming so impoverished that its function as an adequate means of communication is called into question" (Sasse, 1992). "Language murder or language suicide?" (Edwards, 1985) According to the "suicide" model, a language community (say, the Chakma, Sadri, or Hajong) opts to abandon its native tongue out of self-interest (to enjoy the superior opportunities open to Assamese/Bengali speakers) rather than in response to coercion. As Denison (1977) asserts, a speech community sometimes `decides,' for reasons of functional economy, to suppress a part of itself. ... [T]here comes a point when multilingual parents no longer consider it necessary or worthwhile for the future of their children to communicate with them in a low-prestige language variety, and when children are no longer motivated to acquire active competence in a language which is lacking in positive connotations such as youth, modernity, technical skills, material success, and education. The languages at the lower end of the prestige scale retreat from ever increasing areas of their earlier functional domains, displaced by higher prestige languages, until there is nothing left for them to be appropriately used about. In this sense they may be said to "commit suicide."
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 36

The vicious circle of language disadvantage (Mohanty, 2005) Whether deliberate or not, the notion of language suicide fosters a victim-blaming strategy. It reinforces the ethnocentric prejudice, all too common among dominant groups, that certain languages are unfit to survive in the modern world. Languages die from both internal and external causes, operating simultaneously. On the one hand, the process always reflects forces beyond its speakers' control: repression, discrimination, or exploitation by other groups (and, in many situations, all three). On the other hand, except in the case of physical genocide, languages never succumb to outside pressures alone. There must be complicity on the part of speech community itself, changes in attitudes and values that discourage teaching its vernacular to children and encourage loyalty to the dominant tongue.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 37

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?


As "globalization" increases, so does the loss of human languages. Globalization and other factors speed language loss. Globalization is endangering languages, as people prefer to conduct business and communicate in widely used tongues like Assamese, Bengali, Manipuri, Nepali, English, Hindi, etc. People find it easier to conduct business and communicate with those outside their own culture if they speak more widely used languages like Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Manipuri, Nepali or English, etc. Children are not being educated in languages spoken by a limited number of people. As fewer people use local languages, they gradually die out. Public education, the Internet and print and television media also speed the rate of language loss.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 38

WHY IT MATTERS ?
At least 3,000 of the worlds 6,000-7,000 languages (about 50 percent) are about to be lost. The enormous variety of these languages represents a vast, largely unmapped terrain on which linguists, cognitive scientists and philosophers can chart the full capabilitiesand limitsof the human mind. Each endangered language embodies unique local knowledge of the cultures and natural systems in the region in which it is spoken. These languages are among our few sources of evidence for understanding human history. The requirement to speak one language is often associated with violence. Repressive governments forbid certain languages and cultural customs as a form of control. And suppressed people resist assimilation by speaking their own languages and practicing their own customs. On the positive side, one language can enrich anotherfor example, by providing words and concepts not available in the other language. Learning another language often brings an appreciation of other cultures and people. The loss of linguistic diversity represents a loss of intellectual diversity. The less variety in language, the less variety in ideas. Language loss is "part of the more general loss being suffered by the world, the loss of diversity in all things" (Hale, 1992). "The destruction of a language is the destruction of a rooted identity" (Fishman, 1991) for both groups and individuals. Language death does not happen in privileged communities. It happens to the dispossessed and the disempowered, peoples who most need their cultural resources to survive.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 39

WHAT CAN BE DONE?


Documentation is the key to preserving endangered languages. Many endangered languages are only spoken; no written texts exist. So it is important to act quickly in order to capture them before they go extinct. Governments should provide sufficient funds for revitalization projects. The use of the state language in school further causes the reduction of the domain of use of their first (tribal) language because bilingual children tend to use the state language (as opposed to their mother tongue) in most public domains. After a couple of generations, the language of home (of the tribal communities) is gradually replaced by the dominant state language, thus causing severe attrition of the tribal language. In contrast, those children who do not go to school tend to preserve their languages (tribal languages) as their use at home is maintained. This phenomenon supports the hypothesis that a guaranteed functional load (i.e. sustained use in a domain) guarantees maintenance of a language while the reduction and/or elimination of functional load leads to language attrition. There is a need to raise the functional load of tribal as well as minority languages by using them in schools to prevent their shift and/or attrition. Also, through the use of tribal/minority languages in school education students would be more motivated to learn and can achieve a higher level of learning through the use of mother tongue instruction. Many of the tribal languages are unwritten and for languages to be used in schools they need to be codified, i.e., if there are many varieties , attempts should be made to ensure uniformity as far as possible. One particular variety of a language may be chosen to be developed (if it is not already done) as standard variety keeping in mind the attitudes and preferences of the concerned speech community.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 40

Languages to be used in school education need to be standardizedin terms of both linguistic structure and orthography. Another key task is bridging the gap between home language and school language by rigorously implementing tribal languages in school education and teachertraining. There is an imperative need for introduction of bi-lingual education. Mother tongue should be the medium of instruction at primary school level. This should lead to a smooth switch over to bi-lingual instruction i.e., local contact language and general switch over to regional language and link language in a phased manner. Tribal languages must find their due place in the language formula. Some tribes still need expert help to complete orthographies, grammar books, and dictionaries. Virtually all need assistance in developing and publishing curriculum materials. Tribal language speakers often lack academic credentials, while outsiders lack essential cultural and linguistic knowledge. As a result, these projects must draw on cultural resources available on reservations, relying especially on elders, the true experts in these languages. Tribal initiative and control are essential to the success of revitalization efforts because language choices are a matter of consensus within each community.
(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India. 41

References
Agnihotri R. K. .2007. Identity and Multilinguality: The Case of India in Language Policy, Culture and Identity in Asian Contexts, Edited by Amy B.M. Tsui and James W. Tollefson, Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007. Benson, C.J. 2002. Real and Potential Benefits of Bilingual Programmes in Developing Countries, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 5(6), 303-317. Cummins, J. 1979. Cognitive/academic language proficiency, linguistic interdependence, the optimum age question and some other matters. Working Papers on Bilingualism, No. 19, 121-129. Cummins, J. 2000. Language, power, and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the crossfire. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters Jhingran, Dhir. 2005. Language Disadvantage: the Learning Challenge in Primary Education, APH Publishing Corporation: New Delhi. Mohanty, Ajit K. 1990. "Psychological consequences of mother tongue maintenance and multilingualism in India." In Pattanayak, D. P. (editor). 1990.Multilingualism in India. Clevedon, Avon, England. --------------------. 2005. Perpetuating Inequality: Language Disadvantage and Capability Deprivation of Tribal mother Tongue Speakers in India Paper presented in Cornell Conference on Language and Poverty, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, October 14-16, 2005 ---------------------.2006. Multilingualism of the Unequals and Predicaments of Education in India: Mother Tongue or Other Tongue? Chapter 13 Ed, Garcia and Skutnabb Kangas. Malone, S. 2005. Education for Multilingualism and Multi-literacy in Ethnic Minority Communities: The situation in Asia. In First Language First: Community-based literacy programmes for minority language context in Asia. Bangkok: UNESCO, pp.71-86. Skutnabb-Kangas T (Ed) Multilingualism for All .European Studies on Multilingualism (4). Thomas, W.P. and Collier, V. 2002. A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students: Long-term academic achievement. Washington, DC: Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE). On WWW at: http://www.crede.ucsc.edu/research/llaa/1.1_final.html

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UNESCO .1953. The Use of Vernacular Languages in Education UNESCO, Paris. UNESCO .2003. Education in a Multilingual World. UNESCO Education Position Paper. Paris: UNESCO. On WWW at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001297/129728e.pdf Waiko, J., (from 1997 Waigani Seminar). Keynote Address: The Value of Traditional Knowledge in the 21st Century. On WWW at http://www.pngbuai.com/600technology/information/waigani/w97keynote.html. World Bank .2005. In their own language, Education for All. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. On WWW at: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/EducationNotes/EdNotes_Lang_of_Instruct.pdf Wurm, Stephen .1991. Language death and disappearance: Causes and circumstances. In R. Robins & E. Uhlenbeck (Eds.), Endangered languages. Oxford, England: Berg.

(c) 2010 Awadesh K. Mishra, EFL University, Shillong 793022, India.

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