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Encyclopedia > Assamese language
Assamese
অসমীয়া Ôxômiya
Spoken in: India, Bangladesh, Bhutan 
Region: Assam
Total speakers: 13,079,696 (in 1991)[1] 
Ranking: 52
Language family: Indo-European
 Indo-Iranian
  Indo-Aryan
   Eastern Group
    Bengali-Assamese
     Assamese 
Writing system: Assamese script 
Official status
Official language in: Flag of India India (Assam)
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: as
ISO 639-2: asm
ISO 639-3: asm
This page contains Indic text. Without rendering support you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts. More...

Assamese (অসমীয়া Ôxômiya) (IPA: [ɔxɔmija]) is a language spoken in the state of Assam in northeast India. It is also the official language of Assam. It is also spoken in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeast Indian states. Small pockets of Assamese speakers can be found in Bhutan and Bangladesh. The easternmost of Indo-European languages, it is spoken by over 15 million people[Ethnologue and Encarta estimate].[1] , Assam (  ) (Assamese: অসম Ôxôm) is a north eastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a suburb of the city Guwahati. ... This is a list of languages, ordered by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. ... A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common proto-language. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ... The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, which belong to the Indo-European family of languages. ... The Eastern Indo-Aryan languages include some 210 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken by about many people in Asia; this language family is a part of the Indo-Aryan language family. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... The Assamese script belongs to the Brahmic family of scripts and is very similar to Devanagari. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_India. ... , Assam (  ) (Assamese: অসম Ôxôm) is a north eastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a suburb of the city Guwahati. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ... Image File history File links Example. ... The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas (writing systems) used in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, descended from the BrāhmÄ« script of Mauryan India. ... India is a federal republic comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. ... , Assam (  ) (Assamese: অসম Ôxôm) is a north eastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a suburb of the city Guwahati. ... , Arunachal Pradesh   (Hindi:   ) is the easternmost state of India. ... The Himalayas in Sikkim North-East India is the easternmost region of India consisting of the contiguous Seven Sister States and the state of Sikkim. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ...


The English word "Assamese" is built on the same principle as "Japanese", "Taiwanese", etc. It is based on the English word "Assam" by which the tract consisting of the Brahmaputra valley is known. The people call their state Ôxôm and their language Ôxômiya.

Contents

Formation of Assamese

Assamese and the cognate languages, Bengali and Oriya, developed from Magadhi Prakrit, the eastern branch of the Apabhramsa that followed Prakrit. Written records in an earlier form of the Assamese script can be traced to 6th/7th century AD when Kamarupa (part of present-day Bengal was also a part of ancient Kamarupa) was ruled by the Varman dynasty. Assamese language features have been discovered in the 9th century Charyapada, which are Buddhist verses discovered in 1907 in Nepal, and which came from the end of the Apabhramsa period. Earliest examples of the language appeared in the early 14th century, composed during the reign of the Kamata king Durlabhnarayana of the Khen dynasty. Since the time of the Charyapada Assamese has been influenced by the languages belonging to the Sino-Tibetan and Austroasiatic families. Bengali or Bangla (IPA: ) is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit, Pāli and Sanskrit languages. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Magadhi Prakrit is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India after the decline of Sanskrit as an official language. ... The Apabhramsa language was the next modification in the spoken language of North India after Prakrit, in a period broadly lasting from the 5th to the 10th century. ... Prakrit (also spelt Pracrit) (Sanskrit: , original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ... Kamarupa is the ancient name of the kingdom/region that consisted of the Brahmaputra valley and adjoining region. ... The Varman dynasty ruled Kamarupa (Assam) from 350 to 650. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was the century that lasted from 801 to 900. ... Charyapada is the oldest known Bengali written form. ... Year 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... The Kamata kingdom appeared in the western part of the older Kamarupa kingdom in the 13th century, after the fall of the Pala dynasty. ... The Khen dynasty of Assam replaced the Pala dynasty in the 12th century. ... Sino-Tibetan languages form a language family of about 250 languages of East Asia, in number of speakers worldwide second only to Indo-European. ... The Austroasiatic languages are a large language family of Southeast Asia and India. ...


Assamese became the court language in the Ahom kingdom by the 17th century.[2] The Ahom Kingdom (1228-1826) was established by Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mong Mao, in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river, between the extant Chutiya kingdom in the north and the Kachari kingdom in the south. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...


Writing

Assamese uses the Assamese script, a variant of the Eastern Nagari script, which traces its descent from the Gupta script.[3] There is a strong tradition of writing from early times. Examples can be seen in edicts, land grants and copper plates of medieval kings. Assam had its own system of writing on the bark of the saanchi tree in which religious texts and chronicles were written. The present-day spellings in Assamese are not necessarily phonetic. Hemkosh, the second Assamese dictionary, introduced spellings based on Sanskrit which are now the standard. The Assamese script belongs to the Brahmic family of scripts and is very similar to Devanagari. ... The Kanai Baraxiboa rock inscription near Guwahati. ... The Gupta script was used for writing Sanskrit and is associated with the Gupta Empire of India which was a period of material prosperity and great religious and scientific developments. ... Hemkosh (Assamese: ) (IPA: ) is the first etymological dictionary of the Assamese Language based on Sanskrit spellings, compiled by Hemchandra Barua. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


Morphology and grammar

The Assamese language has the following characteristic morphological features[4]

  • Gender and number are not grammatically marked
  • There is lexical distinction of gender in the third person pronoun.
  • Transitive verbs are distinguished from intransitive.
  • The agentive case is overtly marked as distinct from the accusative.
  • Kinship nouns are inflected for personal pronominal possession.
  • Adverbs can be derived from the verb roots.
  • A passive construction may be employed idiomatically.

Phonetics

The Assamese phonetic inventory consists of eight oral vowel phonemes, three nasalized vowel phonemes, fifteen diphthongs (two nasalized diphthongs) and twenty-one consonant phonemes.[5]


In IPA Transcription Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...

Vowels
  Front Central Back
High i   u
High-mid e   o
Low-mid ɛ   ɔ
Low   a ɒ
Consonants
  Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Voiceless stops p
t
k
 
Voiced stops b
d
ɡ
ɡʰ
 
Voiceless fricatives   s x h
Voiced fricatives   z    
Nasals m n ŋ  
Approximants w l, ɹ    

In Romanization Languages can be romanized in a variety of ways, as shown here with Mandarin Chinese In linguistics, romanization (or Latinization, also spelled romanisation or Latinisation) is the representation of a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language...


For a consistent phonemic representation of the Assamese language, all English-language Wikipedia articles that include words in Assamese will use the following Romanization scheme. In human language, a phoneme is the theoretical representation of a sound. ...

Vowels
  Front Central Back
High i   u
High-mid e   o
Low-mid ê   ô
Low   a å
Consonants
  Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Voiceless stops p
ph
t
th
k
kh
 
Voiced stops b
bh
d
dh
g
gh
 
Voiceless fricatives   s x h
Voiced fricatives   z    
Nasals m n ng  
Approximants w l, r    

Assamese phonetics has many distinguishing features vis-à-vis the other Indic languages of the Indo-European family. The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ...


Alveolar Stops

The Assamese phoneme inventory is unique in the Indic group of languages in its lack of a dental-retroflex distinction in coronal stops. Historically, the dental stops and retroflex stops both merged into alveolar stops. This makes Assamese resemble non-Indic languages in its use of the coronal major place of articulation. The only other language to have fronted retroflex stops into alveolars is the closely-related eastern dialects of Bengali (although a contrast with dental stops remains in those dialects). Dentals are consonants such as t, d, n, and l articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both, rather than with the gum ridge as in English. ... Retroflex consonants are articulated with the tip of the tongue curled up and back so the bottom of the tip touches the roof of the mouth. ... The alveolar plosive is a consonant sound. ... (Linguistics) Coronals refer to Coronal consonants. ...


Voiceless Velar Fricative

Unlike most eastern Indic languages, Assamese is also noted for the presence of the voiceless velar fricative x,(x, IIT,G) historically derived from what used to be coronal sibilants. 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/Ôxômiya instead of Asomiya/Asamiya to reflect the sound, represented by [x] in the International Phonetic Alphabet. This sound [x] was present in Vedic Sanskrit, but disappeared in classical Sanskrit. It was brought back into the phonology of Assamese as a result of lenition of the three Sanskrit sibilants. This sound is present in other nearby languages, like Chittagonian. The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, which are the earliest sacred texts of India,. The Vedas were first passed down orally and therefore have no known date. ... Lenition is a kind of consonant mutation that appears in many languages. ... A sibilant is a type of fricative, made by speeding up air through a narrow channel and directing it over the sharp edge of the teeth. ... Chittagonian is an Indo-European language spoken by the people of Chittagong in Bangladesh and the much of the southeast of the country. ...


The sound is variously transcribed in the IPA as a voicelss velar fricative [x], a voiceless uvular fricative [χ], and a voiceless velar approximant [ɰ̥] by leading phonologists and phoneticians. Some variations of the sound is expected within different population groups and dialects, and depending on the speaker, speech register, and quality of recording, all three symbols may approximate the acoustic reading of the actual Assamese phoneme.


Velar nasal

Assamese, in contrast to other Indo-Aryan languages, uses the velar nasal extensively. In these languages the velar nasal is always attached to a homorganic sound, whereas it is used singly in Assamese.[6]


Vowel inventory

Eastern Indic languages like Assamese, Bengali, Sylheti, and Oriya do not have a vowel length distinction, but have a wide set of low vowels. In the case of Assamese, there are two phonetically low vowels, central a [a] and its back rounded counterpart å [ɒ]. This low back rounded vowel å [ɒ] is unique in this branch of the language family, and sounds very much to foreigners as something between [o] and [u]. It is used in many dialects of British English, including Received Pronunciation, as in the word [pʰɒt] "pot" (note that this is not the same vowel in other dialects of English). This vowel is found in Assamese words such as påt [pɒt] "to bury". Bengali or Bangla (IPA: ) is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit, Pāli and Sanskrit languages. ... Sylheti (native name সিলটী Silôţi; Bengali name সিলেটী SileÅ£i) is the language of Sylhet proper, the north-eastern region of Bangladesh and southern districts of Assam around Silchar. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... An open vowel is a vowel sound of a type used in most spoken languages. ... British English (BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere in the Anglophone world. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Dialects

In the middle of the 19th century the dialect spoken in the Sibsagar area came into focus because it was made the official language of the state by the British and because the Christian missionaries based their work in this region. Now the Assamese spoken in and around Guwahati, located geographically in the middle of the Assamese spoken region, is accepted as the standard Assamese. The Assamese taught in schools and used in newspapers today has evolved and incorporated elements from different dialects of the language. Banikanta Kakati identified two dialects which he named (1) Eastern and (2) Western dialects. However, recent linguistic studies have identified four dialect groups [1] (Moral 1992[7]), listed below from east to west: Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sibsagar is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India. ... , Guwahati is a major city in eastern India, often considered as the gateway to the North-East Region (NER) of the country and is the largest city within the region. ... For dialects of programming languages, see Programming language dialect. ...

  • Eastern group, spoken in and other districts around Sibsagar district
  • Central group spoken in present Nagaon district and adjoining areas
  • Kamrupi group spoken in undivided Kamrup, Nalbari, Barpeta, Darrang, Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon districts
  • Goalpariya group spoken in Goalpara, Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Bongaigoan districts

At one time Kamrup or Kamarupa was a mighty kingdom but today it is a lost kingdom so the people who scattered in different areas of the mighty kingdom now forms different dialects. ... Goalpariya redirects here. ...

Assamese literature

Main article: Assamese literature

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 the 8th-12th century. The first examples emerge in writings of court poets in the 14th century, the finest example of which is Madhav Kandali's Kotha Ramayana, as well as popular ballad in the form of Ojapali. The 16th--17th century saw a flourishing of Vaishnavite literature, leading up to the emergence of modern forms of literature in the late 19th century. The history of the Assamese literature may be broadly divided into three periods: // The Charyapadas are often cited as the earliest example of Assamese literature. ... Charyapada is the oldest known Bengali written form. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... This article is in need of attention. ... Kotha Ramayana is written by powerful Assamese poet Madhava Kandali during 14 th century. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


See also

Charyapada is the oldest known Bengali written form. ... Indian languages redirects here. ... Indian constitution recognizes 22 languages as National languages 1. ... Indian languages spoken by more than ten million people are given below. ... This is a list of languages, ordered by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. ...

External links

  • A Dictionary in Assamese and English (1867) First Assamese dictionary by Miles Bronson from (books.google.com)

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.censusindia.net/cendat/language/lang_table1.PDF Retrieved on June 5,2007
  2. ^ Guha, Amalendu The Ahom Political Sysem Social Scientist, Vol 11, No. 12 (Dec., 1983), pp3-34.
  3. ^ Bara, Mahendra The Evolution of the Assamese Script, Axom Xahitya Xabha, Jorhat, 1981.
  4. ^ Kommaluri, Vijayanand, et al. Issues in Morphological Analysis of North-East Indian Languages Language in India, Volume 5 : 7 July 2005
  5. ^ Asamiya, Resource Centre for Indian Language Technology Solutions, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
  6. ^ Assamese Design Guide, The Resource Centre for Indian Language Technology Solutions, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
  7. ^ Moral, Dipankar. A phonology of Asamiya Dialects : Contemporary Standard and Mayong, PhD Thesis, Deccan College, Pune 1992.

Official Logo Axom Xahitya Xabha (Assamese: অসম সাহিত্য সভা, Ôxôm Xahityô Xôbha or Assam Literary Society) was founded in 1917 in Assam, India to promote the culture of Assam and Assamese literature. ... Deccan College, Pune Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute is a post-graduate institute of Archeology and Linguistics in Pune, India. ...

External links

Wikipedia
Assamese language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Assamese language (4720 words)
Assamese language features have been discovered in the 9th century Charyapada, which are Buddhist verses discovered in 1907 in Nepal, and which came from the end of the Apabhramsa period.
Tregami or Trigami is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the villages of Gambir and Katar in the Nurestan Province of Afghanistan.
The opinion that the present language of Bengali is the parent of Assamese is reconcocilable with facts...In fact the Assamese pronunciation of words derived from Sanskrit is such as to render the supposition of a Bengali origin entirely admissible.
Assamese (716 words)
Assamese is the easternmost member of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.
Assamese is thought to have evolved from an eastern branch of the Apabhramsha, dialects spoken in India in the 6th-13th centuries.
Assamese is written in the Assamese script, a version of the Bengali script, a syllabic alphabet in which allconsonants have an inherent vowel which has two different pronunciations or which may be silent.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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