Hajong language

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Hajong Bhasa
Native to India, Bangladesh
Region Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal
Native speakers
63,000 (2001 census)[1]
8,000 in Bangladesh (no date)[2]
Assamese script, Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 haj
Glottolog hajo1238[3]

Hajong, originally a Tibeto-Burman language,[4] is now considered an Indo-Aryan language with Tibeto-Burman roots. It is 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 the Latin script. It has many Sanskrit loan words. The Hajongs originally spoke a Tibeto-Burman language, but it was largely mixed with Assamese and Bengali.[5]


The Hajong Language varies within the clans because of regional variations.

  • Doskinâ
  • Korebari
  • Su-sungyâ
  • Barohazai
  • Mespâryâ

Writing system[edit]

The Hajong language is written using both the Latin and the Assamese scripts.[6] 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 Bengali medium.[7] 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.[8]


Hajong has 24 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.[8] The extra vowel /ɯ/ is not present in other Indo-Aryan languages, but is typical for the Tibeto-Burman family.[9] The phonology of Hajong includes some vowel harmony and the devoicing of final consonants.[8]

Consonant Phonemes[edit]

Consonants Example Meaning .
k kan ear
kh khawa food
g gang river
gh ghǒr house
ng gang river
t tula your
th thǒ keep
d dangǒ big
dh dhǒr hold
n nak nose
l tel oil
s sǒr move
r rang-a red
ch cha tea
chh chh turtle
j jǒr fever
jh jhala spicy
sh shǒng-kǒ conch
p pukhi bird
ph phǒl fruit
b bak tiger
bh bhoi field
m m mother
h hildâ yellow


As Hajong is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language, it behaves largely like those in its class, especially Bengali, 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 Bengali or Asamiya do, but rather has a simplified system. Grierson documents this from the early 20th century as follows:[10]

Hajong English
moi āsē I am
toi āsē thou art
oi āsē he is
âmrâ we are
toi you
urā they

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.[10][11] The following table is taken from Phillips:[11]

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 ==[12]

Hajong Phrases Hajong Latin Script Meaning
কুমায় জায়? kumay jay? Where are you going?
কিংকৗ আছে? Kingkâ ase? How are you?
তই আহিলে? ভিতুৰ ভায় আয়। Toy ahile? Bhiturbhay ai. You came? Come inside.
তুলা আহাৰা ভালা হুছে। Tula ahara bhala huse. It was good of you to come.
ভাত খাছে? Bhat khase? Have you eaten?
চা খাবো? Cha khabo? Will you take tea?
তই কুন গাওলা? Toy kun gawla? What village are you from?
মই তাঙাবাৰিশৗ। Moy Tangabarilâ. I am from Tangabari.
ইলা তই কুমায় থাকে? Ela toy kumay thake? Now where do you live?
তুলা ঘৰৰা কুমায়? Tula ghorra kumay? Where is your house?
মুলা ঘৰৰা হাৱাখানানি। Mula 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.


  1. ^ Hajong at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hajong language at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Hajong". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ Hajong, B. (2002). The Hajongs and their struggle. Assam, Janata Press. Foreword(2) by Satyendra Narayan Goswami 2001.
  5. ^ Danver (2015) Native Peoples of the World
  6. ^ Script Source
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b c Guts, Y. (2007). Phonological description of the Hajong language. Masters Thesis. Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit.
  9. ^ Guts, Y. (2007). Phonological description of the Hajong language. Masters Thesis. Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit; p 59.
  10. ^ a b Grierson, G. A. (1903-28). Linguistic survey of India. Repr. Delhi 1967. Calcutta, Motilal Banarsidass, p 215.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Hajong, Abonis; D. Phillips; V. Phillips. (2008). "Hajong–Ingreji Sobdojor Bôy হাজং–ইংৰেজি শব্দজড় বই Hajong–English Phrase Book" Tura, Meghalaya.