Chittagonian language

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Native toBangladesh
RegionChittagong region
Native speakers
13 million (2006)[1]
to 16 million (2007)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ctg
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  Chittagonian Language speaking area

Chittagonian (চাটগাঁইয়া Caṭgãia) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in parts of the Chittagong Division in Bangladesh.[3] Its speakers identify with Bengali culture and Bengali as literary language,[4] but the two are not mutually intelligible.[5][6] It is mutually intelligible with Rohingya and to a lesser extent with Noakhailla. It is estimated (2009) that Chittagonian has 13–16 million speakers, principally in Bangladesh.[7]


Chittagonian is a member of the Bengali-Assamese sub-branch of the Eastern group of Indo-Aryan languages, a branch of the wider Indo-European language family. It is derived through an Eastern Middle Indo-Aryan from Old Indo-Aryan, and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European.[5] Grierson (1903) grouped the dialects of Chittagong under Southeastern Bengali, alongside the dialects of Noakhali and Akyab. Chatterji (1926) places Chittagonian in the eastern Vangiya group of Magadhi Prakrit and notes that all Bengali dialects were independent of each other and did not emanate from the literary Bengali called "sadhu bhasha".[8] Among the different dialect groups of these eastern dialects, Chittagonian has phonetic and morphological properties that are alien to standard Bengali and other western dialects of Bengali.[9]



Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless p ʈ k
aspirated t̪ʰ ʈʰ
voiced b ɖ ɡ
breathy d̪ʱ ɖʱ ɡʱ
Affricate voiceless ts
aspirated tɕʰ
breathy dʑʱ
Fricative voiceless f~ɸ s ʃ x h
voiced z ɣ
Nasal m n ŋ
Trill/Tap ɾ~r ɽ
Approximant lateral l
central (w) (j)
  • Approximants [w j] are only heard as allophones of vowels /i u/.
  • /ts/ can have a post-alveolar allophone of [tʃ].
  • /ʃ/ can have an allophone of [ç].
  • /f/ can have a bilabial allophone of [ɸ] .[10]


Front Central Back
High i u
High-mid e o
Low-mid (ɛ) ɔ
Low æ a
  • Nasalization occurs for seven vowels /ĩ ẽ æ̃ ã ɔ̃ õ ũ/.
  • [ɛ] is heard as an allophone of /æ/.[11]

Writing system[edit]

The Bengali script (Bangla Lipi) and Latin script is used to write this language.

Gboard for Android has added Chittagongian Keyboard.[12]

See also[edit]


  • Chatterji, Suniti Kumar (1926). The Origin and Development of the Bengali Language. Calcutta University Press.
  • Grierson, G A, ed. (1903). Linguistic Survey of India: Indo-Aryan Family Eastern Group. V. Retrieved 27 June 2020.


  1. ^ Chittagonian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  3. ^ "Chittagonian". Ethnologue. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  4. ^ Masica, Colin (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 25.
  5. ^ a b "Chittagonian A language of Bangladesh". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  6. ^ Masica, Colin (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 16. "The dialect of Chittagong, in southeast Bangladesh, is different enough to be considered a separate language."
  7. ^ "Summary by language size". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Dialects are independent of literary speech: as such East Bengali dialects, North Bengali dialects (with which Assamese is to be associated) and West Bengali dialects are not only independent of one another, but also they are not, as it is popularly believed in Bengal, derived from literary Bengali, the "sadhu-bhasha", which is a composite speech on an early West Bengali basis."(Chatterji 1926:108)
  9. ^ Chatterji, Suniti Kumar. The Origin and Development of the Bengali Language (Part I).
  10. ^ Hai, Muhammad A. (1965). A study of Chittagong dialect. In Anwar S. Dil (ed.), Studies in Pakistani Linguistics. pp. 17–38.
  11. ^ Moniruzzaman, M. (2007). Dialect of Chittagong. In Morshed, A. K. M.; Language and Literature: Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  12. ^ "Gboard for Android Adds Support for Over 20 New Languages". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 25 May 2021.

External links[edit]