Assamese language

Last updated

Oxomiya in Oxomiya Lipi.svg
The word Asamiya ('Assamese') in Assamese script
Pronunciation [ˈɔxɔmija] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )
Region Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland
Ethnicity Assamese
Native speakers
15,311,351 (2011 census) [1]
Early forms
Eastern Nagari (Assamese)
Ahom script [2] (historical, rare)
Assamese Braille
Latin alphabet (Nagamese Creole) [3]
Official status
Official language in
Flag of India.svg  India
Regulated by Asam Sahitya Sabha (literature/rhetorical congress of Assam)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 as
ISO 639-2 asm
ISO 639-3 asm
Glottolog assa1263
Linguasphere 59-AAF-w

Assamese ( /ˌæsəˈmz/ [4] ), also Asamiya ( [ˈɔxɔmija] অসমীয়া), [5] is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in the northeast Indian state of Assam, where it is an official language. It is the easternmost Indo-European language, spoken by over 14 million speakers, [1] and serves as lingua franca of the region. [6]


Nefamese, an Assamese-based pidgin, is used in Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagamese, an Assamese-based Creole language, is widely used in Nagaland. The Kamtapuri language of Rangpur division of Bangladesh and the Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts of India are linguistically closer to Assamese, though the speakers identify with the Bengali culture and the literary language. [7] In the past, it was the court language of the Ahom kingdom from the 17th century.

Along with other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Assamese evolved at least before the 7th century CE [8] from the middle Indo-Aryan Magadhi Prakrit, which developed from dialects similar to, but in some ways more archaic than, Vedic Sanskrit. [9]

Its sister languages include Angika, Bengali, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Chakma, Chittagonian, Hajong, Rajbangsi, Maithili, Rohingya and Sylheti. It is written in the Assamese alphabet, an abugida system, from left to right, with many typographic ligatures.


The proto-languages of the eastern Magadhan languages. Kamarupi Prakrit corresponds to ?proto-Kamarupa here, a hitherto un-reconstructed proto-language. proto-Kamata began to innovate unique features in the period 1250-1550 CE. East-magadhan-proto-languages.png
The proto-languages of the eastern Magadhan languages. Kamarupi Prakrit corresponds to ?proto-Kamarupa here, a hitherto un-reconstructed proto-language. proto-Kamata began to innovate unique features in the period 1250-1550 CE.
Silver coin issued during the reign of Rudra Singha in Sanskrit with Assamese letters. Silver rupee of Rudra Simha.jpg
Silver coin issued during the reign of Rudra Singha in Sanskrit with Assamese letters.
One of the consonants of Assamese script. Asamiya Ro.png

One of the consonants of Assamese script .

Assamese originated in Old Indo-Aryan dialects, though the exact nature of its origin and growth is not clear yet. [11] It is generally believed that Assamese and the Kamatapuri lects derive from the Kamarupi dialect of Eastern Magadhi Prakrit [12] though some authors contest a close connection of Assamese with Magadhi Prakrit. [13] [14] Assamese developed from Indo-Aryan settlements of Kamarupa—in urban centers and along the Brahmaputra river—surrounded by Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic communities. [15] Kakati's (1941) assertion that Assamese has an Austroasiatic substrate is generally accepted – which suggests that when the Indo-Aryan centers formed in the 4th-5th centuries CE, there were substantial Austroasiatic speakers that later accepted the Indo-Aryan vernacular. [16] Xuanzang, the 7th-century Chinese traveler, observed that the Indo-Aryan vernacular in Kamarupa had differentiated itself from the original vernacular before it did in Bengal. [17] These changes were likely due to non-Indo-Aryan speakers adopting the language. [18] [19] [20] The newly differentiated vernacular is evident in the Prakritisms present in the Sanskrit of the Kamarupa inscriptions from which Assamese eventually emerged. [21] [22]

Magadhan and Gauda-Kamarupa stages

The earliest forms of Assamese in literature are found in the 9th-century Buddhist verses called Charyapada [23] the language of which bear affinities with Assamese and which belong to a period when the Prakrit was at the cusp of differentiating into regional languages. [24] The spirit and expressiveness of the Charyadas are today found in the folk songs called Deh-Bicarar Git. [25]

In the 12th-14th century works of Ramai Pundit (Sunya Puran), Boru Chandidas (Krishna Kirtan), Sukur Mamud (Gopichandrar Gan), Durllava Mullik (Gobindachandrar Git) and Bhavani Das (Mainamatir Gan) [26] Assamese grammatical peculiarities coexist with features from Bengali language. [27] [28] Though the Gauda-Kamarupa stage is generally accepted and partially supported by recent works, it is not fully established linguistically. [29]

Early Assamese

A distinctly Assamese literary form appeared first in the 13th-century in the courts of the Kamata kingdom when Hema Sarasvati composed the poem Prahrāda Carita. [30] In the 14th-century, Madhava Kandali translated the Ramayana into Assamese (Saptakanda Ramayana) in the court of Mahamanikya, a Kachari king from central Assam. Though the Assamese idiom in these works are fully individualised, some archaic forms and conjunctive particles too are found. [31] [32] This period corresponds to the common stage of proto-Kamta and early Assamese. [33]

The emergence of Sankardev's Ekasarana Dharma in the 15th-century triggered a revival in language and literature. [34] Sankardev produced many translated works and created new literary forms— Borgeets (songs), Ankia Naat (one-act plays)—infusing them with Brajavali idioms; and these were sustained by his followers Madhavdev and others in the 15th and subsequent centuries. In these writings the 13th/14th-century archaic forms are no longer found. Sankardev pioneered a prose-style of writing in the Ankia Naat. This was further developed by Bhattadeva who translated the Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita into Assamese prose. Bhattadev's prose was classical and restrained, with a high usage of Sanskrit forms and expressions in an Assamese syntax; and though subsequent authors tried to follow this style, it soon fell into disuse. [31] In this writing the first person future tense ending -m (korim: "will do"; kham: "will eat") is seen for the first time. [35]

Middle Assamese

The language moved to the court of the Ahom kingdom in the seventeenth century, [36] where it became the state language. The proselytising Ekasarana dharma converted many Bodo-Kachari peoples and there emerged many new Assamese speakers who were speakers of Tibeto-Burman languages. This period saw the emergence of different styles of secular prose in medicine, astrology, arithmetic, dance, music, besides religious biographies and the archaic prose of magical charms. [31]

Most importantly this was also when Assamese developed a standardized prose in the Buranjis—documents related to the Ahom state dealing with diplomatic writings, administrative records and general history. [31] The language of the Buranjis is nearly modern with some minor differences in grammar and with a pre-modern orthography. The Assamese plural suffixes (-bor, -hat) and the conjunctive participles (-gai: dharile-gai; -hi: pale-hi, baril-hi) become well established. [37] The Buranjis, dealing with statecraft, was also the vehicle by which Arabic and Persian elements crept into the language in abundance. [31] Due to the influence of the Ahom state the speech in eastern Assam took a homogeneous and standard form. [38] The general schwa deletion that occurs in the final position of words came into use in this period.

Modern Assamese

The modern period of Assamese begins with printing—the publication of the Assamese Bible in 1813 from the Serampore Mission Press. But after the British East India Company (EIC) removed the Burmese in 1826 it took complete administrative control of Assam in 1836, filled administrative positions with people from Bengal, and introduced Bengali language in its offices, schools and courts. [39] The EIC had earlier promoted the development of Bengali to replace Persian, the language of administration in Mughal India, [40] and maintained that Assamese was a dialect of Bengali. [41]

Amidst this loss of status the American Baptist Mission (ABM) established a press in Sibsagar in 1846 leading to publications of an Assamese periodical ( Orunodoi ), the first Assamese grammar by Nathan Brown (1846), and the first Assamese-English dictionary by Miles Bronson (1863). [37] The ABM argued strongly with the EIC officials in an intense debate in the 1850s to reinstate Assamese. [42] Among the local personalities Anandaram Dhekial Phukan drew up an extensive catalog of medieval Assamese literature (among other works) and pioneered the effort among the natives to reinstate Assamese in Assam. [43] Though this effort was not immediately successful the administration eventually declared Assamese the official vernacular in 1873 on the eve of Assam becoming a Chief Commissioner's Province in 1874. [44]


In the extant Assamese manuscripts the orthography was not uniform. The ABM had evolved a phonemic orthography based on a contracted set of characters. [45] Working independently Hemchandra Barua provided an etymological orthography and a Sanskritised approach to the language in his Asamiya Bhaxar Byakaran ("Grammar of the Assamese Language") (1859, 1873), [46] and his etymological dictionary, Hemkosh , was published posthumously. Barua's approach was adopted by the Oxomiya Bhaxa Unnati Xadhini Xobha (1888, "Assamese Language Development Society") that emerged in Kolkata among Assamese students led by Lakshminath Bezbaroa. The Society published a periodical Jonaki and the period of its publication, Jonaki era, saw spirited negotiations on language standardization. [47] What emerged at the end of those negotiations was a standard close to the language of the Buranjis with the etymological orthography of Hemchandra Barua. [48]

As the political and commercial center moved to Guwahati in the mid-twentieth century, of which Dispur the capital of Assam is a suburb and which is situated at the border between the western and central dialect speaking regions, standard Assamese used in media and communications today is a neutral blend of the eastern variety without its distinctive features. [49] This core is further embellished with Goalpariya and Kamrupi idioms and forms. [50]

Geographical distribution

Assamese is native to Assam. It is also spoken in states of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. The Assamese script can be found in of present day Burma. The Pashupati temple in Nepal also has inscriptions in Assamese showing its influence in the past.

There is a significant Assamese-speaking diaspora worldwide. [51] [52] [53] [54]

Official status

Assamese is the official language of Assam, and one of the 23 official languages recognised by the Republic of India. The Assam Secretariat functions in Assamese. [55]


The Assamese phonemic inventory consists of eight vowels, ten diphthongs, and twenty-three consonants (including two semivowels). [56]

Vowels [57]
Front Central Back
IPA ROM Script IPA ROM Script IPA ROM Script
Close iiই/ঈuuউ/ঊ
Near-close ʊw
Close-mid eéএʼoóঅʼ
Open-mid ɛeɔo
Open äa
ɒɔɪ, ɔi
aaɪ, ai
Consonants [58]
Labial Alveolar Dorsal Glottal
IPA ROM Script IPA ROM Script IPA ROM Script IPA ROM Script
Nasal mmnnন/ণŋngঙ/ং
Stop voicelessppttত/টkk
aspirated phthথ/ঠkh
murmured bhdhধ/ঢɡʱgh
Fricative voicelessssচ/ছxxশ/ষ/সhh
Approximant centralwwɹrjyয়/্য (য)
lateral ll

Consonant clusters

Consonant clusters in Assamese include thirty-three pure consonant letters in the Assamese alphabet. Each letter represents a single sound with an inherent vowel, the short vowel /ɔ/.

The first twenty-five consonants letters are called sparxa barna[ pronunciation? ]. These sparxa barnas are again divided into five bargas. Therefore, these twenty-five letters are also called "bargia barna".[ clarification needed ][ verification needed ]

Alveolar stops

The Assamese phoneme inventory is unique in the Indic group of languages in its lack of a dental-retroflex distinction among the coronal stops as well as the lack of postalveolar affricates and fricatives. [59] Historically, the dental and retroflex series merged into alveolar stops. This makes Assamese resemble non-Indic languages of Northeast India (such as Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan languages). [60] The only other language to have fronted retroflex stops into alveolars is the closely related group of eastern dialects of Bengali (although a contrast with dental stops remains in those dialects). Note that /r/ is normally realised as [ ɹ ] or as a retroflex approximant.

Voiceless velar fricative

Assamese is unusual among Eastern Indo-Aryan languages for the presence of the /x/ (which, phonetically, varies between velar ([ x ]) and a uvular ([ χ ]) pronunciations, depending on the speaker and speech register), historically the MIA sibilant has lenited to /x/ and /h/ (non-initially). [61] The derivation of the velar fricative from the coronal sibilant /s/ is evident in the name of the language in Assamese; some Assamese prefer to write Oxomiya or Ôxômiya instead of Asomiya or Asamiya to reflect the sound change. [62] The voiceless velar fricative is absent in the West Goalpariya dialects [63] though it is found in lesser extent in East Goalpariya and Kamrupi, [64] otherwise used extensively further east. The change of /s/ to /h/ and then to /x/ has been attributed to Tibeto-Burman influence by Dr. Chatterjee. [65]

Velar nasal

Assamese, Odia, and Bengali, in contrast to other Indo-Aryan languages, use the velar nasal (the English ng in sing) extensively. In many languages, while the velar nasal is commonly restricted to preceding velar sounds, in Assamese it can occur intervocalically. [56] This is another feature it shares with other languages of Northeast India, though in Assamese the velar nasal never occurs word-initially. [66]

Vowel inventory

Eastern Indic languages like Assamese, Bengali, Sylheti, and Odia do not have a vowel length distinction, but have a wide set of back rounded vowels. In the case of Assamese, there are four back rounded vowels that contrast phonemically, as demonstrated by the minimal set: কলাkola[kɔla] ('deaf'), ক'লাkóla[kola] ('black'), কোলাkwla[kʊla] ('lap'), and কুলাkula[kula] ('winnowing fan'). The near-close near-back rounded vowel /ʊ/ is unique in this branch of the language family. But in lower Assam, ও is pronounced same as অ' (ó). কোলাkwla[kóla]মোৰmwr[mór]

Vowel harmony

Assamese has vowel harmony. The vowels [i] and [u] cause the preceding mid vowels and the high back vowels to change to [e] and [o] and [u] respectively. Assamese is one of the few languages spoken in India which exhibit a systematic process of vowel harmony [67] [68]

Schwa deletion

The schwa in modern Assamese, represented by /ɔ/, is generally deleted in the final position unless it is (1) /w/ (); or (2) /y/ (য়) after higher vowels like /i/ () or /u/ (). [69] The final schwa was not deleted in Early Assamese. The initial schwa is never deleted.

Writing system

Modern Assamese uses the Assamese script, and in the medieval times, the script came in three varieties: Bamuniya, Garhgaya,Kaitheli/Lakhari, which developed from the Kamarupi script. It very closely resembles the Mithilakshar script of the Maithili language, as well as the Bengali script. [70] [ page needed ] There is a strong literary tradition from early times. Examples can be seen in edicts, land grants and copper plates of medieval kings. Assam had its own manuscript writing system on the bark of the saanchi tree in which religious texts and chronicles were written, as opposed to the pan-Indian system of Palm leaf manuscript writing. The present-day spellings in Assamese are not necessarily phonetic. Hemkosh (হেমকোষ[ɦɛmkʊx]), the second Assamese dictionary, introduced spellings based on Sanskrit, which are now the standard.

In the early 1970s, it was agreed upon that the Roman script was to be the standard writing system for Nagamese Creole. [3]

Sample text

The following is a sample text in Assamese of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Assamese in Assamese alphabet

১ম অনুচ্ছেদ: জন্মগতভাৱে সকলো মানুহ মৰ্য্যদা আৰু অধিকাৰত সমান আৰু স্বতন্ত্ৰ। তেওঁলোকৰ বিবেক আছে, বুদ্ধি আছে। তেওঁলোকে প্ৰত্যেকে প্ৰেত্যেকক ভ্ৰাতৃভাৱে ব্যৱহাৰ কৰা উচিত। [71]

Assamese in WRA Romanisation

Prôthôm ônussêd: Zônmôgôtôbhawê xôkôlû manuh môrjyôda aru ôdhikarôt xôman aru sôtôntrô. Têû̃lûkôr bibêk asê, buddhi asê. Têû̃lûkê prôittêkê prôittêkôk bhratribhawê byôwôhar kôra usit.

Assamese in SRA Romanisation

Prothom onussed: Jonmogotobhabe xokolü manuh moirjjoda aru odhikarot xoman aru sotontro. Teü̃lükor bibek ase, buddhi ase. Teü̃lüke proitteke proittekok bhratribhawe bebohar kora usit.

Assamese in SRA2 Romanisation

Prothom onussed: Jonmogotovawe xokolu' manuh morjjoda aru odhikarot xoman aru sotontro. Teulu'kor bibek ase, buddhi ase. Teulu'ke proitteke proittekok vratrivawe bewohar kora usit.

Assamese in CCRA Romanisation

Prothom onussed: Jonmogotobhawe xokolu manuh morjyoda aru odhikarot xoman aru sotontro. Teulukor bibek ase, buddhi ase. Teuluke proitteke proittekok bhratribhawe byowohar kora usit.

Assamese in IAST Romanisation

Prathama anucchēda: Janmagatabhāve sakalo mānuha maryadā āru adhikārata samāna āru svatantra. Tēõlokara bibēka āchē, buddhi āchē. Tēõlokē pratyēkē pratyēkaka bhrātribhāvē byavahāra karā ucita.

Assamese in the International Phonetic Alphabet

/pɹɒtʰɒm ɒnussɛd | zɒnmɒɡɒtɒbʰaβɛ xɒkɒlʊ manuʱ mɔɪdʑdʑɒda aɹu ɔdʰikaɹɒt xɒman aɹu sɒtɒntɹɒ || tɛʊ̃lʊkɒɹ bibɛk asɛ buddʰi asɛ || tɛʊ̃lʊkɛ pɹɔɪttɛkɛ pɹɔɪttɛkɒk bʰɹatɹibʰaβɛ bɛβɒɦaɹ kɒɹa usit/


1st Article: Congenitally all human dignity and right-in equal and free. their conscience exists, intellect exists. They everyone everyone-to brotherly behaviour to-do should.


Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Morphology and grammar

The Assamese language has the following characteristic morphological features: [72]

Negation process

Verbs in Assamese are negated by adding /n/ before the verb, with /n/ picking up the initial vowel of the verb. For example: [73]


Assamese has a large collection of classifiers, which are used extensively for different kinds of objects, acquired from the Sino-Tibetan languages. [74] A few examples of the most extensive and elaborate use of classifiers are given below:

Assamese Classifiers
/zɔn/males (adult)manuh-zɔn (the man - honorific)
/zɔni/females (women as well as animals)manuh-zɔni (the woman), sɔrai-zɔni (the bird)
/zɔna/honorifickobi-zɔna (the poet), gʊxai-zɔna (the god/goddess)
/ɡɔɹaki/males and females (honorific)manuh-ɡɔɹaki (the woman), rastrɔpɔti-gɔɹaki (the president)
/tʊ/inanimate objects or males of animals and men (impolite)manuh- (the man - diminutive), gɔɹu- (the cow)
/ti/inanimate objects or infantskesua-ti (the baby)
/ta/for counting numeralse-ta (count one), du-ta (count two)
/kʰɔn/flat square or rectangular objects, big or small, long or short
/kʰɔni/terrain like rivers and mountains
/tʰupi/small objects
/zak/group of people, cattle; also for rain; cyclone
/pat/objects that are thin, flat, wide or narrow.
/sɔta/objects that are solid
/kɔsa/ mass nouns
/mɔtʰa/bundles of objects
/mutʰi/smaller bundles of objects
/taɹ/broomlike objects
/ɡɔs/wick-like objects
/ɡɔsi/with earthen lamp or old style kerosene lamp used in Assam
/zʊpa/objects like trees and shrubs
/kʰila/paper and leaf-like objects
/kʰini/uncountable mass nouns and pronouns
/dal/inanimate flexible/stiff or oblong objects; humans (pejorative)

In Assamese, classifiers are generally used in the numeral + classifier + noun (e.g. /ezɔn manuh/ ejon manuh 'one man') or the noun + numeral + classifier (e.g. /manuh ezɔn/ manuh ejon 'one man') forms.


Most verbs can be converted into nouns by the addition of the suffix /ɔn/. For example, /kʰa/ ('to eat') can be converted to /kʰaɔn/ khaon ('good eating'). [75]

Grammatical cases

Assamese has 8 grammatical cases:

Absolutive none










বাৰীত গৰু সোমাল।

barit góru- xwmal.

garden-LOC cattle-ABS entered

Cattles entered into the garden.






-এ, -ই

-e, -i










গৰুৱে ঘাঁহ খায়।

góru-e ghãh kha-e.

cattle-ERG grass-ACC eat-3.HAB.PRES

Cattles eat grass.

Note: The personal pronouns without a plural or other suffix are not marked.




-(অ)ক, −

-(o)k, −













শিয়ালটোৱে শহাটো খেদি আছে।

xial-tw-e xoha-tw-k khedi ase.

jackal-the-ERG hare-the-ACC chasing exist-3.PRES.CONT

They handed over the thief to the police.













তেওঁলোকে চোৰটো পুলিচক গতালে।

tewlwk-e sür-tw- pulis-ok gotale.

they thief-the-ACC police-ACC handover-REC-3

The jackal is chasing the hare.












তাই ঘৰ

tai-r ghor

she-GEN house

Her house










-(অ)লৈ [dialectal: -(অ)লে]; -(অ)ক

-(o)lói [dialectal: -(o)le]; -(o)k













সি পঢ়াশালিলৈ গৈ আছে।

xi porhaxali-lói gói ase.

he school-DAT going exist-3.PRES.CONT

He is going to (the) school.



elder sister-DAT







বা চাবিটো দিয়া।

ba-k sabi-tw- dia.

{elder sister}-DAT key-the-ACC give-FAM.IMP

Give elder sister the key.








-(অ)লৈকে [dialectal: -(অ)লেকে]

-(o)lói [dialectal: -(o)leke]













মই নহালৈকে কʼতো নেযাবা।

moi n-oha-lóike kót-w ne-ja-b-a.

I not-coming-TERM where-even not-go-future-3

Don't go anywhere until I don't come.










১ৰ পৰা ৭লৈকে

1-or pora 7-olóike

one-GEN from seven-TERM

From 1 up to 7








-(এ)ৰে [dialectal: -(এ)দি]

-(e)re [dialectical: -(e)di]







কলমেৰে লিখিছিলা।

kolom-ere likhisila.

pen-INS write-2.DP

You wrote with (a) pen.








-(অ)ত [sometimes: -এ]

-(o)t [sometimes: -e]










সি বহীখন লিখিছে।

xi bóhi-khon-ot likhise.

he notebook-the-LOC write-PRES.PERF.3

He has written on the notebook.










আইতা মঙলবাৰে আহিছিল।

aita moŋolbar-e ahisil.

grandmother Tuesday-LOC come-DP-3

Grandmother came on Tuesday.


Singular1stm/f (I)moimwkmwrmwtmwlói
2ndm/f (you)toi ᵛ
tumi ᶠ
apuni ᵖ
3rdm (he)
n (it, that)
i *
xi **
f (she)ei *
tai **
n & p (he/she)ew/ekhet(-e ᵉ) *
teü/tekhet(-e ᵉ) **
Plural1stm/f (we)amiamakamaramatamalói
2ndm/f (you)tohot(-e ᵉ) ᵛ
twmalwk(-e ᵉ) ᶠ
apwnalwk(-e ᵉ) ᵖ
3rdm/f (they)ihõt *
ewlwk/ekhetxokol(-e ᵉ) ᵖ *
xihõt **
tewlwk/tekhetxokol(-e ᵉ) ᵖ **
n (these, those)eibwr(-e ᵉ) ᵛ *
eibilak(-e ᵉ) ᶠ *
eixómuh(-e ᵉ) ᵖ *
xeibwr(-e ᵉ) ᵛ **
xeibilak(-e ᵉ) ᶠ **
xeixómuh(-e) ᵖ **

m=male, f=female, n=neuter., *=the person or object is near., **=the person or object is far., v =very familiar, inferior, f=familiar, p=polite, e=ergative form.


With consonant ending verb likh (write) and vowel ending verb kha (eat, drink, consume).

StemLikh, Kha
GerundLikha, khwa
CausativeLikha, khua
ConjugativeLikhi, Khai & Kha
InfinitiveLikhibó, Khabo
GoalLikhibólói, Khabólói
TerminativeLikhibólóike, Khabólóike
AgentiveLikhütanp/Likhwrami/Likhwrifi, Khawtanp/Khawrami/Khawrifi
ConverbLikhwte, Khawte
ProgressiveLikhwte likhwte, Khawte khawte
ReasonLikhat, Khwat
Likhilot, Khalot
ConditionalLikhile, Khale
PerfectiveLikhi, Khai
HabitualLikhi likhi, Khai khai

For different types of verbs.

TensePersontho "put"kha "consume"pi "drink"de "give"dhu "wash"kor "do"randh "cook"ah "come"
Simple Present1st per.thownothowkhawnakhaw ~ nekhawpiwnipiwdiwnidiwdhwnudhwkorwnokorwrandhwnarandhw ~ nerandhwahwnahw
2nd per. inf.thwanothwakhwanakhwa ~ nekhwapiuanipiuadianidiadhuanudhuakoranokorarandhanarandha ~ nerandhaahanaha
2nd per. pol.thwanwthwakhwanwkhwapiuanipiuadianidiadhwanwdhwakoranokorarandhanarandha ~ nerandhaahanaha
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thoenothoekhaenakhae ~ nekhaepienipiedienidiedhwenudhwekorenokorerandhenarandhe ~ nerandheahenahe
Present continuous1st per.thói aswthoi thoka naikhai aswkhai thoka naipi asupi thoka naidi aswdi thoka naidhui aswdhui thoka naikori aswkóri thoka nairandhi aswrandhi thoka naiahi aswahi thoka nai
2nd per. inf.thoi asokhai asopi asodi asodhui asokori asorandhi asoahi aso
2nd per. pol.thoi asakhai asapi asadi asadhui asakori asarandhi asaahi asa
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thoi asekhai asepi asedi asedhui asekori aserandhi aseahi ase
Present Perfect1st per.thoiswthwa naikhaiswkhwa naipiswpia naidiswdia naidhui aswdhwa naikoriswkora nairandhiswrondha naiahi aswoha nai
2nd per. inf.thóisókhaisópisódisódhuisókórisórandhisóahisó
2nd per. pol.thoisakhaisapisadisadhuisakorisarandhisaahisa
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thoisekhaisepisedisedhuisekoriserandhiseahise
Recent Past1st per.thölwnothölwkhalwnakhalw ~ nekhalwpilwnipilwdilwnidilwdhulwnudhulwkorilwnokórilwrandhilwnarandhilw ~ nerandhilwahilwnahilw
2nd per. inf.thölinothölikhalinakhali ~ nekhalipilinipilidilinidilidhulinudhulikórilinókórilirandhilinarandhili ~ nerandhiliahilwnahilw
2nd per. pol.thölanothölakhalanakhala ~ nekhalapilanipiladilanidiladhulanudhulakórilanókórilarandhilanarandhila ~ nerandhilaahilanahila
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thölenothölekhalenakhale ~ nekhalepilenipiledilenidiledhulenudhulekórilenókórilerandhilenarandhile ~ nerandhileahile / ahiltrnahile / nahiltr
Distant Past1st per.thoisilwnothoisilw ~ thwa nasilwkhaisilwnakhaisilw ~ nekhaisilw ~ khwa nasilwpisilwnipisilw ~ pia nasilwdisilwnidisilw ~ dia nasilwdhuisilwnudhuisilw ~ dhüa nasilwkórisilwnókórisilw ~ kora nasilwrandhisilwnarandhisilw ~ nerandhisilw ~ rondha nasilwahisilwnahisilw ~ oha nasilw
2nd per. inf.thoisilinothóisili ~ thwa nasilikhaisilinakhaisili ~ nekhaisili ~ khwa nasilipisilinipisili ~ pia nasilidisilinidisili ~ dia nasilidhuisilinudhuisili ~ dhwa nasilikorisilinokorisili ~ kora nasilirandhisilinarandhisili ~ nerandhisili ~ rondha nasiliahisilinahisili ~ oha nasili
2nd per. pol.thoisilanothóisila ~ thwa nasilakhaisilanakhaisila ~ nekhaisila ~ khüa nasilapisilanipisila ~ pia nasiladisilanidisila ~ dia nasiladhuisilanudhuisila ~ dhwa nasilakorisilanokorisila ~ kora nasilarandhisilanarandhisila ~ nerandhisila ~ rondha nasilaahisilanahisila ~ oha nasila
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thoisilenothoisile ~ thwa nasilekhaisilenakhaisile ~ nekhaisile ~ khwa nasilepisilenipisile ~ pia nasiledisilenidisile ~ dia nasiledhuisilenudhuisile ~ dhüa nasilekorisilenokorisile ~ kora nasilerandhisilenarandhisile ~ nerandhisile ~ rondha nasileahisilenahisile ~ oha nasile
Past continuous1st per.thoi asilwthoi thoka nasilwkhai asilwkhai thoka nasilwpi asilwpi thoka nasilwdi asilwdi thoka nasilwdhui asilsdhui thoka nasilskori asilskori thoka nasilsrandhi asilsrandhi thoka nasilsahi asilsahi thoka nasils
2nd per. inf.thoi asilithoi thoka nasilikhai asilikhai thoka nasilipi asilipi thoka nasilidi asilidi thoka nasilidhui asilidhui thoka nasilikori asilikori thoka nasilirandhi asilirandhi thoka nasiliahi asiliahi thoka nasili
2nd per. pol.thoi asilathoi thoka nasilakhai asilakhai thoka nasilapi asilapi thoka nasiladi asiladi thoka nasiladhui asiladhui thoka nasilakori asilakori thoka nasilarandhi asilarandhi thoka nasilaahi asilaahi thoka nasila
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thoi asil(e)thoi thoka nasil(e)khai asil(e)khai thoka nasil(e)pi asil(e)pi thoka nasil(e)di asil(e)di thoka nasil(e)dhui asil(e)dhui thoka nasil(e)kori asil(e)kori thoka nasil(e)randhi asil(e)randhi thoka nasil(e)ahi asil{e)ahi thoka nasil(e)
Simple Future1st per.thömnothömkhamnakham ~ nekhampimnipimdimnidimdhumnudhumkorimnokorimrandhimnarandhim ~ nerandhimahimnahim
2nd per. inf.thöbinothöbikhabinakhabi ~ nekhabipibinipibidibinidibidhubinudhubikoribinokoribirandhibinarandhibi ~ nerandhibiahibinahibi
2nd per. pol.thöbanothöbakhabanakhaba ~ nekhabapibanipibadibanidibadhubanudhubakoribanókóribarandhibanarandhiba ~ nerandhibaahibanahiba
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thöbonothöbokhabonakhabo ~ nekhabopibonipibodibonidibodhubonudhubokoribonokoriborandhibonarandhibo ~ nerandhiboahibonahibo
Future continuous1st per.thoi thakimthoi nathakim/nethakimkhai thakimkhai nathakim/nethakimpi thakimpi nathakim/nethakimdi thakimdi nathakim/nethakimdhui thakimdhui nathakim/nethakimkori thakimkori nathakim/nethakimrandhi thakimrandhi nathakim/nethakimahi thakimahi nathakim/nethakim
2nd per. inf.thoi thakibithoi nathakibi/nethakibikhai thakibikhai nathakibi/nethakibipi thakibipi nathakibi/nethakibidi thakibidi nathakibi/nethakibidhui thakibidhui nathakibi/nethakibikori thakibikori nathakibi/nethakibirandhi thakibirandhi nathakibi/nethakibiahi thakibiahi nathakibi/nethakibi
2nd per. pol.thoi thakibathoi nathakiba/nethakibakhai thakibakhai nathakiba/nethakibapi thakibapi nathakiba/nethakibadi thakibadi nathakiba/nethakibadhui thakibadhui nathakiba/nethakibakori thakibakori nathakiba/nethakibarandhi thakibarandhi nathakiba/nethakibaahi thakibaahi nathakiba/nethakiba
2nd per. hon. & 3rd per.thoi thakibothoi nathakibo/nethakibokhai thakibokhai nathakibo/nethakibopi thakibopi nathakibo/nethakibodi thakibodi nathakibo/nethakibodhui thakibodhui nathakibo/nethakibokori thakibokori nathakibo/nethakiborandhi thakiborandhi nathakibo/nethakiboahi thakiboahi nathakibo/nethakibo

The negative forms are n + 1st vowel of the verb + the verb. Example: Moi porhw, Moi noporhw (I read, I do not read); Tumi khelila, Tumi nekhelila (You played, You didn't play). For verbs that start with a vowel, just the n- is added, without vowel lengthening. In some dialects if the 1st vowel is a in a verb that starts with consonant, ne is used, like, Moi nakhaw (I don't eat) is Moi nekhaü. In past continuous the negative form is -i thoka nasil-. In future continuous it's -i na(/e)thaki-. In present continuous and present perfect, just -i thoka nai and -a nai' respectively are used for all personal pronouns. Sometimes for plural pronouns, the -hok suffix is used, like korwhok (we do), ahilahok (you guys came).Content

Relationship suffixes

PersonsSuffixExampleEnglish translation
1st personnoneMwr/Amar ma, bap, kokai, vai, ba, voniMy/Our mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister
2nd person
(very familiar; inferior)
-(e)rTwr/Tohõtor mar, baper, kokaier, vaier, bar, vonierYour/Your(pl) mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister
2nd person
-(e)raTwmar/Twmalwkor mara, bapera, kokaiera, vaiera, bara, vonieraYour/Your(pl) mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister
2nd person
3rd person
-(e)kApwnar/Apwnalwkor/Tar/Tair/Xihotõr/Tewr mak, bapek, kokaiek, bhaiek, bak, voniekYour/Your(pl)/His/Her/Their/His~Her(formal) mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister


Assamese dialects political map.png

Regional dialects

The language has quite a few regional variations. Banikanta Kakati identified two broad dialects which he named (1) Eastern and (2) Western dialects, [76] of which the eastern dialect is homogeneous, and prevalent to the east of Guwahati, and the western dialect is heterogeneous. However, recent linguistic studies have identified four dialect groups listed below from east to west: [56]


Collected from the book, Assamese – Its formation and development. [77] The translations are of different versions of the English translations:

English: A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, 'I want my share of your estate now before you die.' So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

Eastern Assamese (Sibsagar): Künü ejon manuhor duta putek asil, tare xorutüe bapekok kole, "Oi büpai! xompottir ji bhag moi paü tak mük diok!" Tate teü teür xompotti duiü putekor bhitorot bati dile. Olop dinor pasot xorutw puteke tar bhagot ji pale take loi dur dexoloi goi beisali kori gutei xompotti nax korile. Tar pasot xei dexot bor akal hól. Tate xi dux paboloi dhorile. Tetia xi goi xei dexor ejon manuhor asroy lole, aru xei manuhe tak gahori soraboloi potharoloi pothai dile. Tate xi gahorir khüa ebidh gosor seire pet bhoraboloi bor hepah korileü tak küneü ekü nidile.

Central Assamese: Manuh ejonor duta putak asil. Tahãtor vitorot xoutw putake bapekok kóle,

Central/Kamrupi (Pati Darrang): Eta manhur duta putak asil, xehatör xorutui bapakök kolak, "He pite, xompöttir mör bhagöt zikhini porei, take mök di." Tate teö nizör xompötti xehatök bhagei dilak. Tar olop dinör pasötei xeñ xoru putektüi xokolöke götei loi kömba dexok legi polei gel aru tate lompot kamöt götei urei dilak. Xi xokolö bioe koraõte xeñ dexöt bor akal hol. Xi tate bor kosto paba dhollak. Teten xi aru xeñ dexor eta manhur asroe lolak. Xeñ mantui nizör potharök legi tak bora saribak legi pothei dilak. Tate xi aru borai khawa ekbidh gasör sei di pet bhorabak legi bor hepah kollak. Kintu kawei ekö tak nedlak.

Kamrupi (Palasbari): Kunba eta manhur duta putak asil. Ekdin xortö putake bapiakok kola, "Bapa wa, apunar xompöttir moi bhagöt zeman kheni pam teman khini mök dia." Tethane bapiake nizör xompötti duö putakok bhage dila. Keidinman pasöt xörtö putake tar bhagtö loi kunba akhan durher dekhok gel, aru tate gundami köri tar götei makha xompötti nohoa koilla. Tar pasöt xiai dekhot mosto akal hol. Tethian xi bor dukh paba dhoilla. Tar xi tarei eta manhur osarök zai asroe asroe lola. Manhtöi tak bara sarba potharöl khedala. Tate xi barai khawa ekbidh gasör seṅ khaba dhoilla. Teö tak kayö akö khaba neidla.

Kamrupi (Barpeta): Kunba eta manhör duta putek asil. Ekdin xorutu puteke bapekök kolak, "Pita, amar xompöttir moi zikhini mör bhagöt paü xikhini mök dia." Tethen bapeke nizör xompötti tahak bhage dilak. Tare keidinmen pisöte xei xoru putektui tar gotexopake loi ekhen duhrer dekhök gusi gel, arö tate xi lompot hoi tar gotexopa xompöttike ure phellak. Tar pasöt xei dekhkhenöt mosto akal hol. Tethen xi xei dekhör eta manhör osröt zai asroe lolak. Manuhtui tak bara sarbak login patharök khedolak. Tate xi ekbidh barai khawa gasör sẽi khaba dhollak. Take dekhiö kayö tak ekö khaba nedlak.

Western Goalpariya (Salkocha): Kunö ekzon mansir duizon saöa asil. Tar sötotae bapok koil, "Baba sompöttir ze bhag mör, tak mök de." Tat oë nizer sompötti umak batia dil. Tar olpo din pasöte öi söta saöata sök götea dur desot gel. Ore lompot beboharot or sompötti uzar koril. Oë götay khoros korar pasöt oi desot boro akal hoil. Ote oya kosto paba dhoril. Sela oë zaya öi deser ekzon mansir asroe löat öi manusi ok suar soraba patharot pothea dil. Ote suare khaöa ek rokom gaser sal dia pet bhoroba saileö ok kaho kisu nadil.

Non-regional dialects

Assamese does not have caste- or occupation-based dialects. [78] In the nineteenth century, the Eastern dialect became the standard dialect because it witnessed more literary activity and it was more uniform from east of Guwahati to Sadiya, [79] whereas the western dialects were more heterogeneous. [80] Since the nineteenth century, the center of literary activity (as well as of politics and commerce) has shifted to Guwahati; as a result, the standard dialect has evolved considerably away from the largely rural Eastern dialects and has become more urban and acquired western dialectal elements. [81] Most literary activity takes place in this dialect, and is often called the likhito-bhaxa, though regional dialects are often used in novels and other creative works.

In addition to the regional variants, sub-regional, community-based dialects are also prevalent, namely:


There is a growing and strong body of literature in this language. The first characteristics of this language are seen in the Charyapadas composed in between the eighth and twelfth centuries. The first examples emerged in writings of court poets in the fourteenth century, the finest example of which is Madhav Kandali's Saptakanda Ramayana. The popular ballad in the form of Ojapali is also regarded as well-crafted. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw a flourishing of Vaishnavite literature, leading up to the emergence of modern forms of literature in the late nineteenth century.

See also


  2. "SEAlang Library Ahom Lexicography".
  3. 1 2 Bhattacharjya, Dwijen (2001). The genesis and development of Nagamese: Its social history and linguistic structure (PhD). City University of New York. ProQuest   304688285.
  4. "Assamese". Oxford Dictionaries UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press . Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  5. Assamese is an anglicized term used for the language, but scholars have also used Asamiya (Moral 1992, Goswami & Tamuli 2003) or Asomiya as a close approximation of /ɔxɔmijɑ/, the word used by the speakers for their language. ( Mahanta 2012 :217)
  6. "Axomiya is the major language spoken in Assam, and serves almost as a lingua franca among the different speech communities in the whole area." ( Goswami 2003 :394)
  7. "...Rajbangshi dialect of the Rangpur Division (Bangladesh), and the adjacent Indian Districts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, has been classed with Bengali because its speakers identify with the Bengali culture and literary language, although it is linguistically closer to Assamese." ( Masica 1993 , p. 25)
  8. Sen, Sukumar (1975), Grammatical sketches of Indian languages with comparative vocabulary and texts, Volume 1, P 31
  9. "...the MIA languages are not younger than ('classical') Sanskrit. And a number of their morphophonological and lexical features betray the fact that they are not direct descendants of Rigvedic Sanskrit, the main basis of 'Classical' Sanskrit; rather they descend from dialects which, despite many similarities, were different from Rigvedic and in some regards even more archaic." ( Oberlies 2007 :163)
  10. Proto-Kamta took its inheritance from ?proto-Kamarupa (and before that from ?proto-Gauda-Kamarupa), innovated the unique features ... in 1250-1550 AD" ( Toulmin 2006 :306)
  11. "Asamiya has historically originated in Old Indo-Aryan dialects, but the exact nature of its origin and growth is not very clear as yet." ( Goswami 2003 :394)
  12. "Dr. S. K. Chatterji basing his conclusions on the materials accumulated in LSI, Part I, and other monographs on the Bengali dialects, divides Eastern Mag. Pkt. and Ap. into four dialect groups. (1) Raddha dialects which comprehend Western Bengali which gives standard Bengali colloquial and Oriya in the South West. (2) Varendra dialects of North Central Bengal. (3) Kumarupa dialects which comprehend Assamese and the dialects of North Bengal. (4) Vanga dialects which comprehend the dialects of East Bengal (ODBL VolI p140)." ( Kakati 1941 , p. 6)
  13. There is evidence that the Prakrit of the Kamarupa kingdom differed enough from the Magadhi Prakrit to be identified as either a parallel Kamrupi Prakrit or at least an eastern variety of the Magadha Prakrit ( Sharma 1990 :0.24–0.28)
  14. 'One of the interesting theories propounded by Sri Medhi is the classification of Assamese "as a mixture of Eastern and Western groups" or a "mixture of Sauraseni and Magadhi". But whether it is word resemblance or grammatical resemblance, the author admits that in some cases they may be accidental. But he says, "In any case, they may be of some help to scholars for more searching enquiry in future".' ( Pattanayak 2016 :43–44)
  15. "(W)e should imagine a linguistic patchwork with an eastern Indo-Aryan vernacular (not yet really "Assamese") in the urban centers and along the river and Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic communities everywhere." ( DeLancey 2012 :15–16)
  16. "While Kakati's assertion of an Austroasiatic substrate needs to be re-established on the basis of more systematic evidence, it is consistent with the general assumption that the lower Brahmaputra drainage was originally Austroasiatic speaking. It also implies the existence of a substantial Austroasiatic speaking population till the time of spread of Aryan culture into Assam, i.e. it implies that up until the 4th-5th centuries CE and probably much later Tibeto-Burman languages had not completely supplanted Austroasiatic languages." ( DeLancey 2012 :13)
  17. "It is curious to find that according to (Hiuen Tsang) the language of Kamarupa 'differed a little' from that of mid-India. Hiuen Tsang is silent about the language of Pundra-vardhana or Karna-Suvarna; it can be presumed that the language of these tracts was identical with that of Magadha." ( Chatterji 1926 , p. 78)
  18. "Perhaps this 'differing a little' of the Kamarupa speech refers to those modifications of Aryan sounds which now characterise Assamese as well as North- and East-Bengali dialects." ( Chatterji 1926 , pp. 78–89)
  19. "When [the Tibeto-Burman speakers] adopted that language they also enriched it with their vocabularies, expressions, affixes etc." ( Saikia 1997 )
  20. Moral 1997, pp. 43-53.
  21. "... (it shows) that in Ancient Assam there were three languages viz. (1) Sanskrit as the official language and the language of the learned few, (2) Non-Aryan tribal languages of the Austric and Tibeto-Burman families, and (3) a local variety of Prakrit (ie a MIA) wherefrom, in course of time, the modern Assamese language as a MIL, emerged." Sharma, Mukunda Madhava (1978). Inscriptions of Ancient Assam. Guwahati, Assam: Gauhati University. pp. xxiv–xxviii. OCLC   559914946.
  22. Medhi 1988, pp. 67–63.
  23. "The earliest specimen of Assamese language and literature is available in the dohās, known also as Caryās, written by the Buddhist Siddhacharyas hailing from different parts of eastern India. Some of them are identified as belonging to ancient Kāmarūpa by the Sino-Tibetologists." ( Goswami 2003 :433)
  24. "The language of [charyapadas] was also claimed to be early Assamese and early Bihari (Eastern Hindi) by various scholars. Although no systematic scientific study has been undertaken on the basis of comparative reconstruction, a cursory look is enough to suggest that the language of these texts represents a stage when the North-Eastern Prakrit was either not differentiated or at an early stage of differentiation into the regional languages of North-Eastern India." ( Pattanayak 2016 :127)
  25. "The folk-song like Deh Bicarar Git and some aphorisms are found to contain sometimes the spirit and way of expression of the charyapadas." ( Saikia 1997 :5)
  26. ""There are some works of the period between 12th and 14th centuries, which kept the literary tradition flowing after the period of the charyapadas. They are Sunya Puran of Ramai Pandit, Krishna Kirtan of Boru Chandi Das, Gopichandrar Gan of Sukur Mamud. Along with these three works Gobindachandrar Git of Durllava Mullik and Mainamatirgan of Bhavani Das also deserve mention here." ( Saikia 1997 :5)
  27. "No doubt some expression close to the Bengali language can be found in these works. But grammatical peculiarities prove these works to be in the Assamese language of the western part of Assam." ( Saikia 1997 :5)
  28. "In Krishna Kirtana for instance, the first personal affixes of the present indicative are -i and -o; the former is found in Bengali at present and the later in Assamese. Similarly the negative particle na- assimilated to the initial vowel of the conjugated root which is characteristic of Assamese is also found in Krishna Kirtana. Modern Bengali places the negative particle after the conjugated root." ( Kakati 1953 :5)
  29. "In summary, none of Pattanayak's changes are diagnostic of a unique proto Bangla-Asamiya subgroup that also includes proto Kamta.... Grierson's contention may well be true that 'Gauḍa Apabhraṁśa' was the parent speech both of Kamrupa and today's Bengal (see quote under §7.3.2), but it has not yet been proven as such by careful historical linguistic reconstruction." and "Though it has not been the purpose of this study to reconstruct higher level proto-languages beyond proto-Kamta, the reconstruction here has turned up three morphological innovations—[MI 73.] (diagnostic), [MI 2] (supportive), [MI 70] (supportive)—which provide some evidence for a proto-language which may be termed proto Gauḍa-Kamrupa." ( Toulmin 2009 :213)
  30. "However, the earliest literary work available which may be claimed as distinctly Asamiya is the Prahrāda Carita written by a court poet named Hema Sarasvatī in the latter half of the thirteenth century AD.( Goswami 2003 :433)
  31. 1 2 3 4 5 ( Goswami 2003 :434)
  32. ( Kakati 1953 :5)
  33. "The phonological and morphological reconstruction of the present study has found three morphological innovations that give some answers to these questions: [MI 67.] (diagnostic), [MI 22.] (supportive), and [MI 23.] (supportive). These changes provide evidence for a proto Kamrupa stage of linguistic history—ancestral to proto-Kamta and proto eastern-Kamrupa (Asamiya). However, a thorough KRDS-andAsamiya-wide reconstruction of linguistic history is required before this protostage can be robustly established." ( Toulmin 2009 :214)
  34. "Sankaradeva (1449–1567) brought about a Vaishnavite revival accompanied by a revival of the language and literature." ( Goswami 2003 :434)
  35. "[Bhattadev's] prose was an artificial one and yet it preserves certain grammatical peculiarities. The first personal ending -m in the future tense appears for the first time in writing side by side with the conventional -bo." ( Kakati 1953 :6)
  36. Guha 1983, p. 9.
  37. 1 2 ( Kakati 1953 :6)
  38. ( Kakati 1953 :7)
  39. "The British administration introduced Bangla in all offices, in the courts and schools of Assam." ( Goswami 2003 :435)
  40. "By 1772, the Company had skillfully employed the sword, diplomacy, and intrigue to take over the rule of Bengal from her people, factious nobles, and weak Nawab. Subsequently, to consolidate its hold on the province, the Company promoted the Bengali language. This did not represent an intrinsic love for Bengali speech and literature. Instead it was aimed at destroying traditional patterns of authority through supplanting the Persian language which had been the official tongue since the days of the great Moguls." ( Khan 1962 :53)
  41. "[W]e should not assent to uphold a corrupt dialect, but endeavour to introduce pure Bengallee, and to render this Province as far as possible an integral part of the great country to which that language belongs, and to render available to Assam the literature of Bengal. - This brief aside of Francis Jenkins in a Revenue Consultation remains one of the clearest policy statements of the early British Indian administration regarding the vernacular question in Assam." ( Kar 2008 :28)
  42. ( Kar 2008 :40–45)
  43. "He wrote under a pen name, A Native, a book in English, A Few Remarks on the Assamese Language and on Vernacular Education in Assam, 1855, and had 100 copies of it printed by A H Danforth at the Sibsagar Baptist Mission Press. One copy of the publication was sent to the Government of Bengal and other copies were distributed free among leading men of Assam. An abstract of this was published later in The Indian Antiquary (1897, p57) ". ( Neog 1980 :15)
  44. "In less than twenty years' time, the government actually revised its classification and declared Assamese as the official vernacular of the Assam Division (19 April 1873), as a prelude to the constitution of a separate Chief Commissionership of Assam (6 February 1874)." ( Kar 2008 :45)
  45. ( Kar 2008 :38)
  46. ( Kar 2008 :46–47)
  47. ( Kar 2008 :51–55)
  48. "They looked back to the fully mature prose of the historical writings of earlier periods, which possessed all the strength and vitality to stand the new challenge. Hemchandra Barua and his followers immediately reverted to the syntax and style of that prose, and Sanskritized the orthography and spelling system entirely. He was followed by one and all including the missionaries themselves, in their later writings. And thus, the solid plinth of the modern standard language was founded and accepted as the norm all over the state." ( Goswami 2003 :435)
  49. "In contemporary Assam, for the purposes of mass media and communication, a certain neutral blend of eastern Assamese, without too many distinctive eastern features, like /ɹ/ deletion, which is a robust phenomenon in the eastern varieties, is still considered to be the norm." ( Mahanta 2012 :217)
  50. "Now, Dispur, the Capital city being around Guwahati, as also with the spread of literacy and education in the western Assam districts, forms of the Central and Western dialects have been creeping into the literary idiom and reshaping the standard language during the last few decades." ( Goswami 2003 :436)
  51. "Assamese Association – of Australia (ACT & NSW)".
  52. "Welcome to the Website of "Axom Xomaj",Dubai, UAE (Assam Society of Dubai, UAE)!".
  53. "Constitution". Archived from the original on 27 December 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  54. "AANA - AANA Overview".
  55. "Secretariat Administration Department". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  56. 1 2 3 Assamese Archived 28 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine , Resource Centre for Indian Language Technology Solutions, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
  57. ( Mahanta 2012 :220)
  58. ( Mahanta 2012 :218)
  59. "Assamese, alone among NIA languages except for Romany, has also lost the characteristic IA dental/retroflex contrast (although it is retained in spelling), reducing the number of articulations, with the loss also of /c/, to three." ( Masica 1993 , p. 95)
  60. Moral 1997, p. 45.
  61. The word "hare", for example: śaśka (OIA) > χɔhā (hare). ( Masica 1993 , p. 206)
  62. Whereas most fricatives become sibilants in Eastern Goalpariya (sukh, santi, asa in Eastern Goalpariya; xukh, xanti, axa in western Kamrupi) ( Dutta 1995 , p. 286); some use of the fricative is seen as in the word xi (for both "he" and "she") ( Dutta 1995 , p. 287) and xap khar (the snake) ( Dutta 1995 , p. 288). The /x/ is completely absent in Western Goalpariya ( Dutta 1995 , p. 290)
  63. B Datta (1982), Linguistic situation in north-east India, the distinctive h sound of Assamese is absent in the West Goalpariya dialect
  64. Goswami, Upendranath (1970), A Study on Kamrupi, p.xiii /x/ does not occur finally in Kamrupi. But in St. Coll. it occurs. In non-initial positions O.I.A sibilants became /kʰ/ and also /h/ whereas in St. Coll. they become /x/.
  65. Chatterjee, Suniti Kumar, Kirata Jana Krti, p. 54.
  66. Moral 1997, p. 46.
  67. Directionality and locality in vowel harmony: With special reference to vowel harmony in Assamese (Thesis) via
  68. ( Mahanta 2012 :221)
  69. ( Sarma 2017 :119)
  70. Bara, Mahendra (1981). The Evolution of the Assamese Script. Jorhat, Assam: Asam Sahitya Sabha. OCLC   59775640.
  71. "Universal Declaration of Human Rights Assamese ()" (PDF). Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  72. Kommaluri, Subramanian & Sagar K 2005.
  73. Moral 1997, p. 47.
  74. Moral 1997, pp. 49-51.
  75. Moral 1997, p. 48.
  76. "Assamese may be divided dialectically into Eastern and Western Assamese" ( Kakati 1941 , p. 16)
  77. "Assamese:Its formation and development" via Internet Archive.
  78. ( Goswami 2003 :403)
  79. Kakati 1941, p. 14-16.
  80. Goswami 2003, p. 436.
  81. 1 2 3 ( Dutta 2003 , p. 106)
  82. Goswami 2003, pp. 439-440.
  83. 1 2 ( Dutta 2003 , p. 107)
  84. ( Dutta 2003 , pp. 108–109)

Related Research Articles

Indo-Aryan languages Branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in the Indo-European language family

The Indo-Aryan or Indic languages form a major language family of South Asia. They constitute a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, themselves a branch of the Indo-European language family. As of the early 21st century more than 800 million people speak Indo-Aryan languages, primarily in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Moreover, large immigrant and expatriate Indo-Aryan-speaking communities live in Northwestern Europe, Western Asia, North America, Southeast Africa and Australia. There are well over 200 known Indo-Aryan languages.

Sylheti language Indo-Aryan language spoken in Bangladesh,India, England and USA

Sylheti is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by an estimated 11 million people, primarily in the Sylhet Division of Bangladesh, the Barak Valley and Hojai district of Assam, and North Tripura and Unakoti district of Tripura, India. Besides, there are substantial numbers of Sylheti speakers in the Indian states of Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland as well as diaspora communities in the UK, the US, and the Middle East.

Kamarupi Prakrit Middle Indo-Aryan language used in ancient Kamarupa, Indian subcontinent

Kamarupi Prakrit is the postulated Middle Indo-Aryan (MIA) Prakrit language used in ancient Kamarupa. This language is the historical ancestor of the Kamatapuri lects and the modern Assamese language; and can be dated prior to 1250 CE, when the proto-Kamta language, the parent of the Kamatapuri lects, began to develop. Though not substantially proven, the existence of the language that predated the Kamatapuri lects and modern Assamese is widely believed.

The Assamese alphabet, is a writing system of the Assamese language and is a part of the Bengali-Assamese script. This script was also used in Assam and nearby regions for Sanskrit as well as other languages such as Bodo, Khasi, Missing, Jaintia etc. It evolved from Kamarupi script. The current form of the script has seen continuous development from the 5th-century Umachal/Nagajari-Khanikargaon rock inscriptions written in an eastern variety of the Gupta script, adopting significant traits from the Siddhaṃ script in the 7th century. By the 17th century three styles of Assamese alphabets could be identified that converged to the standard script following typesetting required for printing. The present standard is identical to the Bengali alphabet except for two letters, ৰ (ro) and ৱ (vo); and the letter ক্ষ (khya) has evolved into an individual consonant by itself with its own phonetic quality whereas in the Bengali alphabet it is a conjunct of two letters.

Goalpariya dialects Indo-Aryan dialects spoken in Assam, India

Goalpariya is a group of Indo-Aryan dialects spoken in the Goalpara region of Assam, India. Along with Kamrupi, they form the western group of Assamese dialects. The North Bengali dialect is situated to its west, amidst a number of Tibeto-Burman speech communities. The basic characteristic of the Goalpariya is that it is a composite one into which words of different concerns and regions have been amalgamated. Deshi people speak this language and there are around 20 lakhs people.

Magadhi Prakrit (Māgadhī) is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India following the decline of Pali and Sanskrit. It was a vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan language, replacing earlier Vedic Sanskrit. Magadhi Prakrit was spoken in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region spanning what is now eastern India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It was spoken in present-day Bengal, Bihar, and eastern Uttar Pradesh, and used in some dramas to represent vernacular dialogue in Prakrit dramas. It is believed to be the language spoken by the important religious figures Gautama Buddha and Mahavira and was also the language of the courts of the Magadha mahajanapada and the Maurya Empire; some of the Edicts of Ashoka were composed in it.

Assamese literature Literature in Assamese language

Assamese literature is the entire corpus of poetry, novels, short stories, plays, documents and other writings in the Assamese language. It also includes the literary works in the older forms of the language during its evolution to the contemporary form and its cultural heritage and tradition. The literary heritage of the Assamese language can be traced back to the c. 9-10th century in the Charyapada, where the earliest elements of the language can be discerned.

People of Assam People of Assam

The People of Assam inhabit a multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-religious society. They speak languages that belong to four main language groups: Tibeto-Burman, Indo-Aryan, Tai-Kadai, and Austroasiatic. The large number of ethnic and linguistic groups, the population composition, and the peopling process in the state has led to it being called an "India in miniature".

Though the precise Etymology of Assam, a state in India is unclear—there is general agreement that it is related to the Ahom people. Whatever the source of the English name, Assam is itself an anglicization.

Hajong language Indo-Aryan language

Hajong is an Indo-Aryan language with a possible Tibeto-Burman language substratum. It is spoken by approximately 80,000 ethnic Hajongs across the northeast of the Indian subcontinent, specifically in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal in present-day India, and the divisions of Mymensingh and Sylhet in present-day Bangladesh. It is written in Bengali-Assamese script and Latin script. It has many Sanskrit loanwords. The Hajongs originally spoke a Tibeto-Burman language, but it later mixed with Assamese and Bengali.

Lower Assam Region in India

Lower Assam is a region situated in Western Brahmaputra Valley encompassing undivided Kamrup and Goalpara regions. Soon after the formal creation of the British districts in 1833, Lower Assam denoted one of the five initial districts that were created west of the Dhansiri river, which, along with the six paraganas, became a single district of Kamrup in 1836. It was home to the kingdom of Kamarupa, ruled by Varman's and Pala's from their capital's Pragjyotishpura (Guwahati) and Durjaya. Today Guwahati is the largest city of North-East India while Dispur, the capital of Assam, is within the town.

Eastern Indo-Aryan languages

The Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, also known as Māgadhan languages, are spoken throughout the eastern Indian subcontinent, including Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Tripura, Assam, and Odisha; alongside other regions surrounding the northeastern Himalayan corridor. Bengali is official language of Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal and Tripura, while Assamese and Odia are the official languages of Assam and Odisha, respectively. The Eastern Indo-Aryan languages descend from Magadhan Apabhraṃśa and ultimately from Magadhi Prakrit.

Indo-Aryan migration to Assam

People speaking Indo-Aryan languages first migrated to Assam in approximately the fifth century BCE. They came from the Gangetic Plains into a region already inhabited by people who spoke Austroasiatic and Tibeto-Burman languages.

Surjapuri language

Surjapuri is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language spoken in Eastern India including North Bengal, West Bengal, and Eastern Bihar, as well as in Nepal. Among speakers in some regions, it is known as 'Deshi Bhasa'. It possesses similarities with Kamatapuri, Assamese, Bengali, and Maithili.

Kamarupa inscriptions

The Kamarupa inscriptions are a number of 5th-century to early 13th-century rock, copper plate and clay seal inscriptions associated with the rulers and their subordinates of the Kamarupa region. The common language of these inscriptions is Sanskrit. The earliest of these inscriptions, the Umachal and Nagajari-Khanikargaon rock inscriptions, belong to the 5th century and written in a script which was nearly identical to the eastern variety of the Gupta script. There is a steady evolution in the script over the centuries, and last of the scripts, for example the Kanai-boroxiboa inscription using a proto-Assamese script. The script in this period is called the Kamarupi script, which continues development as the Medieval Assamese script from the 13th to the 19th century and emerges as the modern Assamese script.

Kamrupi dialects

Kamrupi dialects are a group of regional dialects of Assamese, spoken in the Kamrup region. It formerly enjoyed prestige status. It is one of two western dialect groups of the Assamese language, the other being Goalpariya. Kamrupi is heterogeneous with three subdialects— Barpetia dialect, Nalbariya dialect and Palasbaria dialect.

KRNB lects Indo-Aryan variety from eastern Indian subcontinent

KRNB lects are a cluster of modern lects that are phylogenetic descendants of the proto-Kamata language. The proto-Kamata language began differentiating after 1250 around Kamatapur, the capital city of Kamata kingdom, as the western branch of the proto-Kamarupa, whereas the eastern branch developed into proto-Assamese. Since the 16th century the proto-Kamta community has fragmented giving rise to the differentiated modern lects. The modern lects are: Kamta, Rangpuri (Bangladesh), Rajbanshi (Nepal) and Surjapuri (Bihar).

Kamarupi script

Kamarupi script was the script used in ancient Kamarupa from as early as 5th century to 13th century, from which the modern Assamese script eventually evolved. In the development of the Assamese script, this phase was followed by the medieval and then by the modern Assamese scripts.

Trailokyanath Goswami was noted writer from Nalbari, Assam, India. He wrote various novels and short stories in Assamese language. He is known for realistic variety in his works. Having understanding of both eastern and eastern aesthetics, has sound judgement and wide sympathy. He made critical analysis of trends in modern literature.

Early Assamese

Early Assamese or Proto-Eastern Kamarupa is an ancestor of the modern Assamese language. It is found in the literature from the 14th century to the end of 16th century in Kamata kingdom and the Brahmaputra valley of Assam.