Hill Miri dialect

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Hill Miri
Region Assam
Ethnicity Hill Miri people
Native speakers
(undated figure of 10,100)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Individual code:
mrg – (included under Plains Miri)
Glottolog None

Hill Miri or Sarak is a Tani language of India. It is spoken in Arunachal Pradesh by an estimated 9,000 people of the Hill Miri tribe.[2] It appears to be a dialect of the Nishi language.[3]

Portrait of a girl of the Hill Miri people


Hill Miri is a member of the Tani branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages and is considered a dialect of the Nishi language. It is spoken by 9,000 people in the northern regions of India by the Hill Miri people[4] It is threatened because the younger generation is slowly breaking away from their people's tradition and language.[5] The term "Hill Miri" is an exonym, as the Hill Miri people identify themselves simply as Nyishi.[6] Many audiobooks of gospel narratives in the Hill Miri language have been collected.

History of scholarship[edit]

George Abraham Grierson, in his survey of India regarding its linguistics, researched the Nyishi language and published a record over a century ago.[citation needed]



The following table includes an inventory of Hill Miri consonants.[7]

Labial Alveolar Post-
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ[8] ŋ
Stop voiceless p t c[9] k
voiced b d ɟ[10] ɡ
Fricative s ʃ h
Approximant w l j
Trill? r

Vowels are front /i, e/, central /ɨ, ʉ, ə, a/,[11] and back /u, o/. Vowels occur long and short.


The basic Hill Miri grammar and basic word order are like those of related Sino-Tibetan languages, similar to that of Nishi.


Hill Miri
1 aken
2 eñi
3 oum
4 epi
5 ango/angngo
6 ake
7 kenne
8 pine
9 kora
10 íri



Singular Plural
1st person ngo ngu-lu
2nd person no nu-lu
3rd person bu, bú bu-lu, bú-lu


  1. ^ Mising at Ethnologue (15th ed., 2005)
  2. ^ Moseley, Christopher (2007). Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages. Routledge. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-7007-1197-0. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Post, Mark W. (2013). Defoliating the Tani Stammbaum: An exercise in areal linguistics. Paper presented at the 13th Himalayan Languages Symposium. Canberra, Australian National University, Aug 9.
  4. ^ http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/lang/10414
  5. ^ Hill Miri Audio
  6. ^ Nabam Tadar Rikam, "Emerging religious Identities of Arunachal Pradesh", Mittal Publications, 2005
  7. ^ Ju Namkung, "Phonological inventories of Tibeto-burman languages", Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of California, 1996
  8. ^ Value unclear, perhaps [nʲ]?
  9. ^ Value unclear, perhaps [t͡ʃ]?
  10. ^ Value unclear, perhaps [d͡ʒ]?
  11. ^ Transcribed ⟨ɯ, y, ɤ, a⟩ in Namkung

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]