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Discovery of language questioned

Barely a week after two US linguists claimed they uncovered a hidden language in Arunachal Pradesh, an academician based in the frontier state said his post-doctoral work in 2008 dealt extensively with the issue.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2010 23:54 IST
Rahul Karmakar

Barely a week after two US linguists claimed they uncovered a hidden language in Arunachal Pradesh, an academician based in the frontier state said his post-doctoral work in 2008 dealt extensively with the issue.

But Gibji Nimachow would rather not stake any claim to have discovered Koro, which he says is a dialect and not a language as Americans K. David Harrison and Gregory DS Anderson announced.

"To say one has uncovered a language known to many in our reasonably educated state is a bit too much," Nimachow told Hindustan Times. "That is half as ridiculous as turning a dialect into a language."

Anderson is director of Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in Salem, US, and arrison is a linguist at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. They said they uncovered Koro during a trip to Arunachal Pradesh in 2008. Their findings will be published in the journal Indian Linguistics.

Nimachow, assistant professor of geography at Rajiv Gandhi University near state capital Itanagar, belongs to the Aka tribe, which is divided into two sub-groups — Hrusso and Koro. Besides, he had researched various aspects of his tribe for his thesis.

Arunachal Pradesh Director (Research) Tage Tada agreed. "I don’t think Koro, or for that matter any dialect or language of Arunachal Pradesh, needs to be discovered," he said.