Languages of the NE->Angami


Angami occupies the southern portion of the Naga Hills district. The Angami belt is bounded on the west by the Brahmaputra-Irawaddy watershed range, on the North by the Thezir River, on the East by the Tiza River and on the South by the Lavier. The Burrail range of hills form the boundary of the Angami belt towards the South. The Angamis are distinguished from the other tribes within the district by their method of cultivation. They raise their crops on irrigated terraces while the other tribes engage in Jhum cultivation.

SPEECH SOUNDS: The following is the phonetic inventory of the vowels in the Angami language.                    




[i] : high front unrounded vowel.
It occurs initially, medially and finally.

ita#cie& brick. timie whiskers. ti sky
imo not this way. kimie wife ki house
        ni happy.

[e] : higher-mid front unrounded vowel.
It occurs medially and finally.

ke$ya# : shed pe : fat
. meku& : cold. ke^ : sugarcane

[a] : low central unrounded vowel.
It occurs in all the three positions: initial, medial and final.

a& I ha$ho bat kiya^ marriage
a# : my. tha$yie^ : banana cha@ : road

[w] : high back unrounded vowel.
[u] : high back rounded vowel.

It occurs in all the three positions, namely initial, medial and final.

u@ : our. khu$be# : grape. pu$ speak.
u@ko : we. huka#bo@ : coconut tree nu$ in.


[o] : higher-mid back rounded vowel.
It is seen occurring in the medial and the final position.

zo$za@ : wall. bo@ : tree
so$pe& : worm. mo$ : not.

The following is the phonetic inventory of the consonants in the Angami language.
bilabial dental alveolar post alveolar retro palatal velar uvular pharyngeal glottal.
plosive p b t d c k g
pH tH kH
nasal m8 m M n8 n N

ts dz

fricative f s z S Z
L.approx l8 l
trill r8 r
semi vowel w8 w y y


The consonants are seen occurring mainly in the initial and medial positions.
[p]: voiceless unaspirated bilabial stop.
puo$ :he, she. pe$n)uo$ : birth.
zo#pe& : worm. cie$pou# : apple.
[t]: voiceless unaspirated dental stop.
te$khu@ : tiger. te$zie# : garden.
chaze$to# : fiber. dzie$te#no# : knife.
[k] : voiceless unaspirated velar stop.
ke$ba@ : gong. kiya& : marriage.
te$kuo# : sheep. me#ku& : cold.
[pH]: voiceless aspirated bilabial stop.

Angami expresses the various meanings that a root can assume partly by the aid of suffixes, infixes and prefixes. They have no special meaning of their own, and they are frequently dropped.

The following prefixes are used in forming adjectives, adverbs and present participles:
ka or ke, me, pe and re.

Nouns of agency are formed by suffixing ma#, man, to the present participle. Thus ba#, to sit; ke-ba#, sitting; ke-ba#-ma#, a sitting man, a sitter. Other nouns are formed from verbs by prefixing the or te. Thus, ba#, to sit; the-ba#, a chair.

NOUNS: Nouns descriptive of the parts of the body, or expressing relationship, must always be preceded by a possessive pronoun.

GENDER: This is only apparent in the case of animate nouns. It is indicated in the case of nouns of relationship by the use of different words. Thus a# po, my father; a# zo, my mother. In the case of other nouns it is indicated by the following suffixes:

Masculine: pfo_, chu_, da#, dzu_.
Feminine : kru_.

NUMBER: Number is only indicated when it is not evident from the context. In such a case , the singular is indicated by suffixing po, one, and the plural by suffixing ko. This ko is the plural of the suffix u used as a definite article. It hence invariably has a definite significance . Thus mi-thu, cow or cows generally; mi-thu po, a or one cow; mi thu-u, the cow, mi thu-ko, the cows.

CASE: Cases are formed by suffixes, added to the nominative, which remains unchanged. The accusative and the genitive usually take no post positions. The genitive precedes the noun on which it is dependent.

ADJECTIVE: An adjective follows the noun it qualifies, unless it is so intimately connected with the noun it qualifies as to form one compound word with it.

VERB: There are five different verbs, with different radical meanings, which are used to express the verb substantive. The most common is ba#, be. The others are to, root meaning "exist"; zhu_, root meaning "recline"; ni, root meaning "possess"; ta#, root meaning "stand". Verbs do not change for number, gender or person. Tenses are formed by suffixes. As in other cognate languages, there is little or no distinction between present and past time. The main distinction is between time which is future (indicated by the suffix to) and time which is non-future (no special suffix). Every verbal form which contains a direct statement usually ends with the syllable- we#, closely corresponding to what is called the categorical a# in Munda languages.

PRONOUNS: There are personal, demonstrative, relative, interrogative and reflexive pronouns in the language.

Singular: A ,I No , thou Po, he, she,it.
A , my Un , thy Po, his, her, its.
Dual : A-vo, thou and I U-na#, ne-na#, you two.
Ha-na, they two, near.
He-na, he and I Lu na#, they two distant.
Plural : He-ko, (I and you), Ne-ko, you.
Ha-ko, u-ko, u-ko,li-ko, lu-ko, they.
He-ko,he, our. Ne-ko,ne,your. Ha-ko,etc, their

ORDER OF WORDS: The usual order is subject (with its adjuncts), direct object, indirect object, verb. Adverbs usually follow the words they qualify. When they qualify verbs, they usually, but not always, follow the root.