Khasic languages

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Khasic
Geographic
distribution
India and Bangladesh
Linguistic classificationAustroasiatic
  • Khasi–Palaungic
    • Khasic
Proto-languageProto-Khasic
Glottologkhas1268[1]
Lenguas khmúico-khásico.png
  Khasic

The Khasic or Khasian languages are a family of Austroasiatic languages spoken in the northeastern Indian state Meghalaya and neighbouring areas of Bangladesh.

Languages[edit]

Sidwell (2018: 27–31) classifies the Khasian languages as follows.

proto-Khasian

Varieties called Bhoi are dialects of both Pnar and Khasi.

External relationships[edit]

Paul Sidwell (2011) suggests that Khasian is closely related to Palaungic, forming a Khasi–Palaungic branch.

The following eight Khasian-Palaungic isoglosses have been identified by Sidwell (2018: 32).

Gloss Proto-Khasian
(Sidwell 2018)
Proto-Palaungic
(Sidwell 2015)[2]
blood *snaːm *snaːm
claw/nail *trʧʰiːm *rənsiːm
hair *sɲuʔ *ɲuk
man/husband trmɛ (Amwi) *-meʔ
rain *slap;
slɛ (Amwi)
*clɛʔ
swim *ɟŋiː *ŋɔj
two *ʔaːr *ləʔaːr
water *ʔum *ʔoːm

Lexical innovations[edit]

Sidwell (2018: 23) lists the following Khasian lexical innovations (i.e., defining lexical forms) that are found exclusively in the Khasian branch, but not in other Austroasiatic branches).

English gloss Proto-Khasian Lyngngam Maram Khasi Pnar Mnar War
cooked rice *ʤaː ʥa ʤa ja /ʤaː/ ʤa ci ʧi
moon *bnəːj bni bne bnai /bnaːi/ bnaj pni pnʊ
to sing *rwəːj rəŋwi rwej rwái /rwaːi/ rwaj rvʊ
four *saːw saw saw sáw /saːw/ so sɔu ria
river *waʔ waɁ wah /waːʔ/ waɁ waɁ waɁ
all *barɔɁ prok barɔʔ baroh /barɔːʔ/ warɔʔ bərɒʔ
pig *sniaŋ sɲaŋ sniaŋ sniang /sniaŋ/ sniaŋ cʰɲaŋ rniŋ
sand *ʧʔiap ʥʔep ʧiʔɛp shyiap /ʃʔiap/ ʧʔiap ʃʔip ʃʔiap
to drink *di:ʔ/c dec dɔc dih /diːʔ/ diʔ deʔ deʔ
flower/star *kʰloːr kʰlor kʰlɔr khlúr /kʰloːr/ kʰlor khlʊə
tongue *tʰnləːc təloc tʰl̩let thyllied /tʰɨlleːc/ tʰl̩leɟ kʰlut kʰlit
ice/freeze *tʰaʔ tʰaʔ tʰaʔ thah /tʰaːʔ/ tʰaʔ tʰaʔ tʰaʔ

Reconstruction[edit]

Proto-Khasian and Proto-Pnar-Khasi-Lyngngam have been reconstructed by Paul Sidwell (2018). Proto-Khasian is estimated to have originated about 2,000-2,500 years ago, with War splitting from other Khasian linguistic varieties about 1,500 years ago (Sidwell 2018: 20).

Proto-Khasian morphology includes a causative *pN- prefix and verbalizing *-r- infix (Sidwell 2018: 66-67).

The following reconstructed paradigmatic and closed class morphemes in Proto-Khasian are from Sidwell (2018: 51-67).

Personal pronouns
Masculine Feminine Plural
1st person *ŋa (topic/oblique);
*ʔɔ (default)
*ŋa (topic/oblique);
*ʔɔ (default)
*ʔi
2nd person *me *pʰa *pʰi
3rd person
(animate)
*ʔu *ka *ki
3rd person
(inanimate ~ diminutive)
*ʔi *ʔi *ʔi
Demonstratives
  • *ni 'proximal'
  • *tu 'mesiodistal'
  • *taj 'distal (visible)'
  • *te 'mesioproximal'
  • *tɛ 'distal (non-visible)'
Negators
  • *ʔǝm 'not'
  • *ham 'do not'
  • *ta 'not'
Prepositions/case markers
  • *ha 'locative/oblique'
  • *ʤɔŋ 'to possess'
  • *da 'instrumental'
  • *ba (?) 'and/with'
  • *tV 'oblique'
Tense/aspect morphemes
  • *la:j 'to go'
  • *dɛp 'finish'
  • *diʔ 'to go'
  • *daː 'have'
  • *ʤuʔ 'same'
Morphological affixes
  • *pN- 'prefix'
  • *-r- 'verbalizer'
Numerals
Gloss Proto-Khasian Proto-Pnar-
Khasi-Lyngngam
one *wiː~*miː
one *ʧiː
two *ʔaːr
three *laːj
four *saːw
five *san
six *tʰruː
seven *ʰnɲəw
eight *pʰraː
nine *kʰndaːj
ten *pʰəw

Sound changes[edit]

Sidwell (2018) lists the following sound changes from Pre-Khasian (i.e., the ancestral stage of Khasian that preceded Proto-Khasian) to Proto-Khasian.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Khasian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Sidwell, Paul. 2015. The Palaungic Languages: Classification, Reconstruction and Comparative Lexicon. München: Lincom Europa.

External links[edit]