Nicobarese languages

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Ethnicity Nicobarese people
Nicobar Islands
Linguistic classification Austroasiatic
  • Nicobarese
  • Car
  • Chaura–Teressa
  • Central
  • Southern
Glottolog nico1262[1]
The Nicobar Islands. Car is at top.

The Nicobarese or Nicobaric languages form an isolated group of half a dozen closely[citation needed] related Austroasiatic languages, spoken by the majority of the inhabitants of the Nicobar Islands of India. They have a total of about 30,000 speakers (22,100 native). The majority of Nicobarese speakers use the Car language.

They appear to be at best distantly related to the Shompen languages of the indigenous inhabitants of the interior of Great Nicobar Island.[2]

The morphological similarities between Nicobarese and Austronesian languages have been used to help support the Austric hypothesis.

From north to south:

Further reading[edit]

  • Adams, K. L. (1989). Systems of numeral classification in the Mon–Khmer, Nicobarese and Aslian subfamilies of Austroasiatic. Canberra, A.C.T., Australia: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 0-85883-373-5
  • Radhakrishnan, R. (1981). The Nancowry Word: Phonology, Affixal Morphology and Roots of a Nicobarese Language. Current Inquiry Into Language and Linguistics 37. Linguistic Research Inc., P.O. Box 5677, Station 'L', Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6C 4G1. ISBN 0-88783-041-2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nicobaric". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Blench, Roger, and Paul Sidwell. 2011. "Is Shom Pen a Distinct Branch?" In Sophana Srichampa and Paul Sidwell, eds. Austroasiatic Studies: Papers from ICAAL 4. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.