The Jingpho/Singpho (Jinghpaw, Chingp'o), or Kachin, language is a Tibeto-Burman language mainly spoken in Kachin State, Burma (Myanmar) and Yunnan Province, 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, Lachit, Rawang, Zaiwa, Lhaovo, Achang (Ngo Chang), and Jingpho. These languages are from distinct branches of the highest level of the Tibeto-Burman family. Total estimated native speakers are 950,000 (2001 census).
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.
Jingpho/Singpho 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.
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