Miji languages

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Not to be confused with Miju language.
Miji
Dhammai
Sajolang
Native to India
Region Arunachal Pradesh, India
Ethnicity Miji people
Native speakers
6,500 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sjl
Glottolog miji1239[2]
saja1240  (Sajolang / Miji)[3]
bang1369  (Bangru / Ləvai)[4]

Miji (autonym: Dmay[5]), also Dhammai or Sajolang, is a cluster of possibly Sino-Tibetan languages in Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India. "Dialects" include at least two distinct languages, which are not particularly close, with only half of the vocabulary in common between the languages of East Kameng District and West Kameng District. Long assumed to be Sino-Tibetan languages, they may actually be a small independent language family.[6]

Varieties[edit]

There are 3 varieties of Miji.[7]

Distribution[edit]

According to Ethnologue, Miji is spoken in the following areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • West Kameng District, Nafra circle, Bichom and Pakesa river valley – 25 villages including Debbing, Dichik, Rurang, Nachinghom, Upper Dzang, Naku, Khellong, Dibrick, Nizong, Najang, Zangnaching, Chalang, Nafra, and Lower Dzang
  • East Kameng District: Bameng and Lada circles – Wakke, Nabolong, Kojo, Rojo, Sekong, Panker, Zarkam, Drackchi, Besai, Naschgzang, Sachung, Gerangzing, Kampaa, Salang, Pego, and Dongko villages

I.M. Simon (1979:iii)[8] lists the following Miji villages from the Census of 1971.

  • 1. Chalang [Cinlang]
  • 2. Díbín [Díbín]
  • 3. Ditchik [Dícik]
  • 4. Dzang [Dzang]
  • 5. Jangnachin [Zanachin]
  • 6. Khazolang
  • 7. Khelong
  • 8. Laphozu
  • 9. Mathow
  • 10. Nakhu
  • 11. Nachibun
  • 12. Nizung
  • 13. Rurang

Smaller hamlets include Dishin [Dícin], Devrik [Dívih], Diyung [Diyong], Nazang [Natsang], Nanthalang, and Otung [Uthung]. Some Mijis have also live in Aka villages such as Dijungania, Buragaon, Tulu, Sarkingonia, and Yayung.

Blench (2015),[5] citing Ramya (2012),[9] lists the Bangru (Northern Miji) villages Bala, Lee, Lower Lichila, Upper Lichila, Machane, Milli, Molo, Nade, Namju, Palo, Rerung, Sape, Sate, Wabia, and Walu’, as well as Sarli Town.

In China, Bangru (transcribed in Chinese as Bengru 崩如) is spoken in the area of Bixia 比夏, southern Longzi County 隆子县, Shannan Prefecture 山南地区, Tibet — in the villages of Jieli 结列, Baluo 巴洛, Xiade 夏德, Li 利, Lilaqi 利拉齐, and Gelangge 嘎朗洛 (Li 2003).[10] Bangru is also spoken by many of the nearby Sulung people, who live in San'an Qulin Township 三安曲林乡 of Longzi County. Names of Bangru include ləʔ31 wai55 (autonym), pɤn31 ru55 (Bangni exonym), and bu33 zuai55 bi33 (Sulung exonym).[10] There are also 6 people living in Douyu Village No. 1 (斗玉一村) on the Chinese side. There are about 1,600 Bangru people as of 1980, and about 2,000 as of 2003.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

In all Miji languages the "p" "f" "t" and "k" sounds are always aspirated.[5]

Consonant phonemes
  Bilabial Labio-
dental
Dental Alveolar Post-
alveolar

(Palato-
alveolar
)
Retroflex Palatal Palata-
lized
velar
Labia-
lized
velar
Glottal
Plosive b         d                 ɡ ʔ  
Affricate             ts       tc              
Fricative     v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ       ʐ x       ɣʷ
Lateral fricative             ɬ ɮ                        
Nasal   m           n       ɳ   ɲ            
Trill               r                        
Tap or flap                       ɽ                
Approximant       ʋ                   j       w    
Lateral approximant               l       ɭ                

Vowels[edit]

Monophthong phonemes
  Front Central Central
rhotacized
Back
Close i     u
Close-mid e ə/ɨ[ə]   o
Open-mid ɛ     ʌɔ
Open     a  

Tones[edit]

The Miji languages have a relatively simple tonal system with only two tone: high and low. There is a third rising tone but it is so scarcely used that in some of the languages it is disregarded completely.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miji at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Miji". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Sajolang / Miji". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Bangru / Ləvai". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Blench, Roger. 2015. The Mijiic languages: distribution, dialects, wordlist and classification. m.s.
  6. ^ Blench, Roger; Post, Mark (2011), (De)classifying Arunachal languages: Reconstructing the evidence (PDF) 
  7. ^ a b Blench, Roger; Post, Mark (2011), (De)classifying Arunachal languages: Reconstructing the evidence (PDF) 
  8. ^ Simon, I. M. 1979. Miji Language Guide. Shillong: Directorate of Research, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
  9. ^ Ramya, T. 2012. Bangrus of Arunachal Pradesh: An Ethnographic Profile. International Journal of Social Science Tomorrow, 1(3):1-12.
  10. ^ a b Li Daqin [李大勤]. 2003. "A sketch of Bengru" [崩如语概况]. Minzu Yuwen 2003:5.

Further reading[edit]