Hajong language

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Hajong
Native to India, Bangladesh
Region Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal
Native speakers
70,000  (2001)[1]
Assamese script, Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 haj

Hajong (হাজং) is an Indo-Aryan language with Tibeto-Burman roots spoken by more than 175,000 ethnic Hajong in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal in India and the Mymensingh District in Bangladesh. It is written in the Assamese script, and it is being supplanted by the Assamese language in India. Hajong was originally a Tibeto-Burman language, but it was linguistically mixed with Bengali and Assamese.[2]

Clans of Hajong[edit]

  1. Doskina
  2. Korebari
  3. Sosongia
  4. Barohazari
  5. Meshparia

Sub-Clans of Hajong[edit]

There are 10 Sub-clans or Nikni(in Hajong) found in Hajongs, some of these are as below,

  1. Balihata
  2. Porachonga
  3. Choraboli
  4. Ghogunikni
  5. Kendrenikni etc.

Writing system[edit]

The Hajong language is written using both the Latin and the Assamese scripts.[3] Although both of these scripts are in use in India, the Hajongs in Bangladesh expect to use the Bengali script since most education is in Bangla medium.[4] Often, for writing Hajong, the Assamese script is used. In each script, there is one added unique symbol for the close, back, unrounded vowel /ɯ/. In Latin script, it is written with "â". In Bengali script with "অৗ" or "কৗ" when it is syllable final.[5]

Phonology[edit]

Hajong has 22 consonant phonemes, 2 approximants which have some characteristics of consonants namely /w/ and /j/, and 6 vowel phonemes. The vowel phonemes are /a/, /i/, /u/, /e/, /o/, and /ɯ/ (close, back, unrounded). It is somewhat ambiguous whether the final vowel is a phoneme or an allophone of [a] in the environment of other close vowels.[5] The extra vowel /ɯ/ is not present in other Indo-Aryan languages, but is typical for the Tibeto-Burman family.[6] The phonology of Hajong includes some vowel harmony and the devoicing of final consonants.[5]

Grammar[edit]

As Hajong is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language, it behaves largely like those in its class, especially Bangla, with respect to word order and other basic grammatical features. Only significant differences are noted here. Hajong does not conjugate verbs in the same way Bangla or Asamiya do, but rather has a simplified system. Grierson documents this from the early 20th century as follows:[7]

Hajong English
mai āsē I am
tai āsē thou art
ai āsē he is
āmlā āsē we are
tumla āsē you are
amlā āsē they are

Note that not all of his observations of Hajong from the early 1900s still apply.

The case endings in Hajong are also unique compared to other Indo-Aryan languages and may represent affinity with Tibeto Burman languages.[7][8] The following table is taken from Phillips:[8]

Hajong (in IPA) English Case
buri-rɯ the old woman unmarked
buri-rɯ ge to the old woman dative
buri la of the old woman genitive
buri ni to/at the old woman locative
buri bʰaʲ to the old woman allative
buri t̪ʰiki from the old woman ablative
buri diɯ through/by the help of the old woman instrumental

== Example short phrases ==[9]

Hajong Phrases Hajong Latin Script Meaning
কুমায় জায়? kumay jay? Where are you going?
কেংকা আছে? Kengka ase? How are you?
তই আহিলে? ভিতুৰ ভায় আয়। Toy ahile? Bhiturbhay ai. You came? Come inside.
তলা আহাৰা ভালা হুছে। Tola ahara bhala huse. It was good of you to come.
ভাত খাছে? Bhat khase? Have you eaten?
চা খাবো? Ca khabo? Will you take tea?
তই কুন গাওলা? Toy kun gawla? What village are you from?
মই তাঙাবাৰিলা। Moy Tangabarila. I am from Tangabari.
এলা তই কুমায় থাকে? Ela toy kumay thake? Now where do you live?
তলা ঘৰৰা কুমায়? Tola ghorra kumay? Where is your house?
মলা ঘৰৰা হাৱাখানানি। Mola ghorra Hawakhanani. My house is in Hawakhana.
ইদৗ অগে বুজিয়ৗ দি। Idâ oge bujiyâ di. Explain this to him.
ইদৗনি লিখিক। Idâni likhik. Write it here.
ময় জাং। Moy jang. I'm going.
আবাৰ লাক পাবো। Abar lak pabo. We will meet again.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Haldar, Gopal. 1986. A comparative grammar of East Bengali dialects. Calcutta: Puthipatra.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hajong at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Sustainable Development Networking Programme
  3. ^ Script Source
  4. ^ Ahmad, S., A. Kim, S. Kim, and M. Sangma. (2005). The Hajong of Bangladesh: A sociolinguistic survey. http://www.sil.org/resources/publications/entry/42943, p. 13.
  5. ^ a b c Guts, Y. (2007). Phonological description of the Hajong language. Masters Thesis. Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit.
  6. ^ Guts, Y. (2007). Phonological description of the Hajong language. Masters Thesis. Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit; p 59.
  7. ^ a b Grierson, G. A. (1903-28). Linguistic survey of India. Repr. Delhi 1967. Calcutta, Motilal Banarsidass, p 215.
  8. ^ a b Phillips, V. C. (2011). "Case Marking in Hajong." In G. Hyslop, S. Morey and M. Post, Eds. North East Indian Linguistics: Volume 3. Delhi, Cambridge.
  9. ^ Hajong, Abonis; D. Phillips; V. Phillips. (2008). "Hajong–Ingreji Sobdojor Bôy হাজং–ইংৰেজি শব্দজড় বই Hajong–English Phrase Book" Tura, Meghalaya.