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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Of native tongues vanished & in peril

With a little more than one-third of the world’s languages, most of them used by indigenous people, having already gone extinct or facing the prospect of disappearing in the near future, here’s a closer look at the state of play of such tongues not just across the globe but in India too.

ht-school Updated: Jul 12, 2019 12:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
         

Across the world, an estimated 40%* of the world’s languages, mostly indigenous in nature, are in danger of disappearing. Here’s the story in a nutshell about these languagues in India & rest of the world.

Indigenous languages: Indigenous languages are the local means of communication for indigenous people or communities who make up about 6% of the world’s total population. For indigenous people, languages not only identify their origin or membership in a community, they also carry the ethical values of their ancestors. Acknowledging this, the UN General Assembly is observing 2019 as the Year of Indigenous Languages.

CENTRAL INDIA:

Languages in peril - 2:

Naiki (Maharashtra): Spoken by 1,500 people (as in 2007); belongs to Dravidian language family

Nihali (Madhya Pradesh, Maharas- htra): 2,000 native speakers (2007), according to independent estimates

EAST INDIA:

Languages in peril - 6:

Birhor (Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha): Approx. 2,000 speakers (2007 estimates); Belongs to Austro-Asiatic language family

Manda (Odisha): Unknown no. of speakers; Dravidian language family

Parji (Chattisgarh): , 51,216 native speakers (2001 census); Dravidian language family

Pengo (Odisha): Unknown no. of speakers; Dravidian family

Toto (West Bengal): 1,000 native speakers; Sino-Tibetan family

Gadaba (Odisha): 26,262 speakers (2001 census); Language family unknown

SOUTH INDIA:

Languages in peril - 6:

Bellari (Karnataka, Kerala): Less than 1,000 speakers; Belongs to Dravidian language family

Koraga: (Karnataka, Kerala), 16,665 speakers (Independent estimates, 2007); Dravidian language family Kota: (Tamil Nadu), 930 speakers (2001 census); Dravidian language family

Kuruba (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh): 14,613 speakers (2001 census); Dravidian language family

Toda (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka): 1006 native speakers (1971 census); Dravidian language family

Gadaba: (Andhra Pradesh), 26,262 speakers

NORTH INDIA:

Languages in peril - 5:

Baghati (Himachal Pradesh): 3,976 speakers (2001 census); Indo-European language family

Bangani (Uttarakhand): 12,000 speakers (2001 census); Language family unknown

Handuri (Himachal Pradesh): , 47,800 speakers (2001 census); Indo-European language family

Pangvali (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir): 16,285 speakers (2001 census)

Sirmaudi (Himachal Pradesh): 31,144 speakers (2001 census) Indo-Tibetan

Extinct Languages - 2:

Rangkas (Uttarakhand): Belonged to Sino-Tibetan family

Tolcha (Uttarakhand): About 1,200 people who speak other languages; Tibeto-Burman family

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS:

Languages in peril - 11:

Great andamanese (Andaman): 5 speakers (Independent estimates, 2007); Language family unknown

Jarawa (Andaman): 200 speakers (2001 census); Ongan language family

Lamongse (Nicobar): Unknown no. of speakers; Austro-asiatic language family

Luro/Teressa (Nicobar): 2,000 speakers (2001 census); Austro-Asiatic language family

Muot/Nancowry: (Nicobar)

Onge (Andaman): 50 native speakers (2001 census); Ongan language family

Pu/Car (Nicobar): 5,000 speakers (2001 census); Austro-Asiatic family

Sanenyo/Chaura (Nicobar): 1,300 speakers (2001 census) Austro-Asiatic family

Sentilese (Andaman & Nicobar): , 50 speakers (2001 census); Language family unknown

Shompen (Nicobar): 100 speakers (Independent estimate)

Takahanyilang (Andaman & Nicobar): 3,000 (2001 census); Austro-Asiatic language family

NORTH EAST INDIA:

Languages in peril - 11:

Aimol (Manipur): 2,643 speakers (2001 census); Sino-Tibetan family

Aka/Hruso/Angka (Arunachal Pradesh): Less than 300 speakers

Koireng (Manipur,Nagaland): 1,056 speakers (2001 census); Sino-Tibetan language family

Lamgang/Lamkang (Manipur): 10,000 speakers (2001 census); Sino-Tibetan language family

Langrong (Manipur): 8,000 speakers (no official estimates); Sino-Tibetan language family

Purum (Manipur): 503 speakers (2001 estimates); Sino-Tibetan language family

Ruga (Meghalaya): 200 speakers (ind. estimate); Language family unknown

Tai Nora/Khamyang (Assam): Less than 100 speakers; Tai language family

Tai Rong/Turung (Arunachal Pradesh): Less than 100 speakers; Tai language family

Tangam (Arunachal Pradesh): 100 speakers (independent estimate); Sino-Tibetan language family

Tarao (Manipur): 870 speakers (2001 census); Sino-Tibetan language family

Extinct languages - 4:

Ahom: Was spoken in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh

Andro: Was spoken in Manipur, Sino-Tibetan language family

Chairel: Was spoken in Manipur

Sengmai: Was spoken in Manipur; Sino-Tibetan language family

* Including several levels of endangerment. This graphic focuses on only 2 of them- critically endangered and extinct indigenous languages.

 

First Published: Jul 12, 2019 12:16 IST

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