Jingpho language

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Not to be confused with Jili language.
Jingpho
Pronunciation tɕiŋ˧˩pʰɔʔ˧˩
Native to Burma, China, India
Region Kachin State, Yingjiang County
Ethnicity Jingpo
Native speakers
ca. 950,000  (2001)[1]
Dialects
Dzili (Jili)
Language codes
ISO 639-2 kac
ISO 639-3 Variously:
kac – Jingpho
sgp – Singpho
tcl – Taman
Glottolog kach1280
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Jingpho (Jinghpaw, Chingp'o) or Kachin (Burmese: ကချင်ဘာသာ [kətɕɪ̀ɴ bàðà]) is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Sal branch mainly spoken in Kachin State, Burma and Yunnan, China. The term "Kachin language" can refer either to the Jingpho language or to a group of languages spoken by various ethnic groups in the same region as Jingpo: Lisu, Lashi, Rawang, Zaiwa, Lhao Vo, Achang and Jingpho. These languages are from distinct branches of the highest level of the Sino-Tibetan family.

The ethnic Jingpho (or Kachin) are the primary speakers of Jingpho language, numbering approximately 900,000 speakers.[2] The Turung of Assam in India speak a Jingpho dialect with many Assamese loanwords, called Singpho.

The Jingpho alphabet is based on the Latin script. Jingpho has verbal morphology that marks the subject and the direct object. Here is one example (the tonemes are not marked). The verb is 'to be' (rai).

person and number present past
1sg rai n ngai rai sa ngai
2sg rai n dai rai sin dai
3sg rai ai rai sai
1pl rai ga ai rai sa ga dai
2pl rai ma dai rai ma sin dai
3pl rai ma ai rai ma sai

Jingpho syllable finals can consist of vowels, nasals, or oral stops.

Orthography[edit]

Kachin writing is one of the easiest writing systems of the Tibeto-Burman languages. It's a Latin-based alphabet which contains 23 letters, diacritical marks are not used. It was originally created by American missionaries-Baptists in the late XIX century. Among the founders of the first role was Ola Hanson, who arrived in Burma in 1890, learned the language and wrote the first Kachin-English dictionary. In 1965, the alphabet was reformed:[3]

Initials[edit]

Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
IPA Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
МФА Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
IPA Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
IPA
b b [p] py py [pj-] r r [ʒ] k k [k-]
p p [p-] hpy hpy [phj] l l [l] hk hk [kj]
hp hp [ph] my my [mj] y y [j] ng gr [kʒ]
m m [m] d d [t] z z [ts] gy kr [kʒ-]
w w [w] t t [t-] ts ts [ts-] ky hkr [khʒ]
- f [f] ht ht [th] - zh [tsh] khy gy [kj]
- br [pʒ] n n [n] j j [tʃ] - ky [kj-]
- pr [pʒ-] ny ny j] chy chy [tʃ-] - hky [khj]
- hpr [p] s s [s] - ch [tʃh] - ng [ŋ]
by by [pj] sh sh [ʃ] g g [k] - h [x]

Finals[edit]

Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
IPA Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
МФА Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
IPA Old
alphabet
New
alphabet
IPA
i i [i] wi ui [ui] en en [en] awm om [om]
e e [e] ip ip [ip] eng eng [eŋ] awn on [on]
a a [a] it it [it] ap ap [ap] awng ong [oŋ]
aw o [o] ik ik [ik] at at [at] up up [up]
u u [u] im im [im] ak ak [ak] ut ut [ut]
- iu [iɑu] in in [in] am am [am] uk uk [uk]
- iau [iu] ing ing [iŋ] an an [an] um um [um]
ai ai [ai] ep ep [ep] ang ang [aŋ] un un [un]
au au [au] et et [et] awp op [op] ung ung [uŋ]
oi oi [oi] ek ek [ek] awt ot [ot]
- ua [uɑ] em em [em] awk ok [ok]

Tones[edit]

Jingpho (Jinghpaw) language has five tones. For example:

  • Wa (high short tone) compensate Á
  • Wa (middle tone) teeth Ä
  • Wa (high tone) father Ã
  • Wa (low tone) come back Ā
  • Wa (low short tone) pig Ą

Tones are not usually marked in writing.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jingpho at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Singpho at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Taman at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ "Ethnologue report for ISO 639 code: kac". www.ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  3. ^ Minglang Zhou. Multilingualism in China: the politics of writing reforms for minority languages. Berlin, 2003. ISBN 3-11-017896-6

Bibliography[edit]

  • 景颇语-汉语词典 Jingpoyu - Hanyu cidian / Jingpho–Chinese dictionary, 戴庆夏 Dai Qingxia et al.
  • 景颇语语法 Jingpoyu yufa / Jingpho Grammar, 戴庆夏 Dai Qingxia et al.
  • Structures élémentaires de la parenté, de Claude Lévi-Strauss, devotes a chapter to the study of parenthood in the Jingpho ethnicity.