Koro language (India)

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Native toIndia
RegionArunachal Pradesh, India
Native speakers
1,500 (2010)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3jkr

Koro is a possibly Sino-Tibetan language spoken by approximately 800–1,500 people in the East Kameng district at the western end of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Few speakers are under 20 years old.[3] The people live among the Aka (Hruso), but their language is only distantly related, with distinct words for numerals, body parts, and other basic vocabulary.[3][4] The majority of Koro speakers live in bilingual households in which one or more members speak Ako or another indigenous language rather than Koro.[5] Although it has resemblances to Tani farther to the east, it appears to be at least a separate branch of Sino-Tibetan.[6] Researchers hypothesize it may have originated from a group of people enslaved and brought to the area.[4]


Recognition in the academic literature of Koro as a distinct language goes back at least to the 2009 edition of the Ethnologue (Lewis 2009), which based its findings on a language survey conducted in 2005. It notes that Koro has only 9 percent lexical similarity with Hruso Aka, and that it is "highly dissimilar to neighboring languages".[7]

In October 2010, the National Geographic Daily News published an article corroborating the findings of the Ethnologue based on research conducted in 2008 by a linguistic team of David Harrison, Gregory Anderson, and Ganesh Murmu while documenting two Hruso languages (Aka and Miji) as part of National Geographic's "Enduring Voices" project.[3] It was reported to them as a dialect of Aka, but turned out to be highly divergent.

Mark Post & Roger Blench (2011)[8] propose that Koro is related to Milang in a branch, or perhaps independent family, they call Siangic.

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Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Koro at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Koro". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c Morrison, Dan "'Hidden' Language Found in Remote Indian Tribe". National Geographic Daily News, October 5, 2010, Retrieved on October 5, 2010
  4. ^ a b Schmid, Randolph E. "Undocumented language found hidden in India". Associated Press. 5 October 2010
  5. ^ Harrison, K. David (2010). The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's Most Endangered Languages. National Geographic Society. ISBN 978-1-4262-0461-6.
  6. ^ "In Search for 'Last Speakers', a Great Discovery". National Public Radio. October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2010. (Some sound files)
  7. ^ Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, TX: SIL International, "Hruso".[1]
  8. ^ Post, Mark W. and Roger Blench (2011). "Siangic: A new language phylum in North East India", 6th International Conference of the North East India Linguistics Society, Tezpur University, Assam, India, Jan 31 – Feb 2.

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