Miju language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geman, Kman
Miju, Kùmán
RegionArunachal Pradesh, India
EthnicityMiju Mishmi
Native speakers
18,000 (2006)[1]
possibly Sino-Tibetan (Midzuish), or a language isolate
  • Kaman
Language codes
ISO 639-3mxj
Lang Status 80-VU.svg
Miju is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger

Kaman (Geman, Geman Deng, Kùmán, Kman), or Miju (Miju Mishmi, Midzu), is a small language of India and China. Long assumed to be a Sino-Tibetan language, it may be a language isolate.[2]


In China, the Miju are known as the Deng 僜人. The Deng number over 1,000 in Zayü County, Tibet, China, with 1,000 of the Deng having the autonym tɑ31 ruɑŋ53 (大让), and 130 having the autonym kɯ31 mɑn35 (格曼) (Geman). They are also neighbors with the Idu or i53 du31 (义都) people.[citation needed]

In India, Miju is spoken in Hawai Circle and the Parsuram Kund area of Lohit District, Arunachal Pradesh (Boro 1978,[3] Dasgupta 1977[4]). Ethnologue reports that Miju is spoken in 25 villages located in high altitude areas to the east of upper Lohit and Dau valleys, which are located east of the Haguliang, Billong, and Tilai valleys.[citation needed]


These are the sounds in the Miju/Kaman language.[5]


Consonant phonemes
Labial Alveolar Post-
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive plain p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate plain ts
aspirated tʃʰ
voiced dz
Fricative plain f s ʃ h
voiced v z ɦ
Approximant ʋ j w
Lateral l ɭ
Flap ɾ ɽ


Monophthong phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i (ɨ) ɯu
Close-mid o
Open-mid ɛ ə ʌɔ
Open a

/ɯ/ may also be heard as [ɨ].


There are three main tones in the Miju language, rising (á), falling (à), and level (ā).[6]


Kman has various registers that are used in different situations. These include:[7]

  • shamanic
  • hunting
  • cursing and scolding
  • poetic


  1. ^ Kaman at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Blench, Roger; Post, Mark (2011), (De)classifying Arunachal languages: Reconstructing the evidence (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2013
  3. ^ Boro, A. 1978. Miju dictionary. Shillong: Research Department, Arunachal Pradesh Administration.
  4. ^ Dasgupta, K. 1977. A phrase book in Miju. Shillong: Director of Information and Public Relations, Arunachal Pradesh.
  5. ^ Blench, Roger (2015), Kman ethno-ophresiology; characterising taste, smell and texture in a language of Arunachal Pradesh
  6. ^ Blench, Roger; Kri, Sokhep; Ngadong, Kruleso; Masong, Barum (2015), Kman Reading and writing Kman
  7. ^ Blench, Roger. 2022. Why would a language with 5000 speakers have seven registers? Register-flipping in the isolates of Northeast India compromises the unitary concept of language. Cambridge: Kay Williamson Education Foundation.

Further reading[edit]