Lotha language

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Native to Nagaland, India
Region West-central Nagaland, Wokha district
Ethnicity Lotha Naga
Native speakers
170,000 (2001 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 njh
Glottolog loth1237[2]

The Lotha language is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family, spoken by approximately 166,000 people in Wokha district, west-central Nagaland, India. It is centered in the small district of Wokha (capital Wokha). This district has more than 114 villages such as Pangti, Maraju (Merapani), Englan, Baghty (Pakti) and others, where the language is widely spoken and studied.


Alternate names include Chizima, Choimi, Hlota, Kyong, Lhota, Lotha, Lutha, Miklai, Tsindir, and Tsontsii (Ethnologue).


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Lotha.

  • Live
  • Tsontsu
  • Ndreng
  • Kyong
  • Kyo
  • Kyon
  • Kyou

In the Linguistic Survey of India,[3] linguist George Abraham Grierson analyzed various branches of languages in India and categorized various Naga languages into three groups: Western Naga, Eastern Naga, and Central Naga.[4] Lotha falls into the Central Naga group, which also includes the languages Ao, Sangtam, and Yimchungru.[4]

Orthography and literature[edit]

Lotha is written in the Latin script, introduced by the British and American missionaries in the late 19th century. It is a medium of education up to the post-graduate level in the state of Nagaland. It is also the language in which the church sermons are preached. The Bible has been translated into the Lotha language, adding significantly to its vocabulary, which had an influence of Assamese and Hindi. The language has been carried to all parts of the country by the waves of emigrants.


  1. ^ Lotha at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Lotha Naga". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ "Linguistic Survey of India". Wikipedia. 2017-01-21. 
  4. ^ a b Kumar, Braj Bihari (2005-01-01). Naga Identity. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 9788180691928. 

External links[edit]