Languages of the NE -> Rengma

Name of the Language


Rengma belongs to the Western sub group and it is classed with Angami, Sema and Kezhama.


Geographical Location

It has Angami on its south an west and Sema speakers on its east. They lie mainly between the Rengmapani and the Doyang rivers.

Number of Speakers


Phonemic Inventory


Grammatical Categories

ARTICLE : For the definite article, the prefix a# is used . For the indefinite article, the numeral me#, one is employed.hash

GENDER : The only suffixes of gender identified are tse# for the masculine and le# for the feminine. Thus metu tse# me, a bull; metu le# me, a cow.

NUMBER : The usual suffix of the plural seems to be dang, as in metu tse#-dang, bulls.

CASE : The nominative takes the suffix le#, much like the Ao# e. This is used before both transitive and intransitive verbs. In one case, apparently, e# is used instead of le#. The termination, as in Ao, is omitted when no ambiguity will ensue. The relative participle, corresponding to the Angami u is apparently gu_, as in a#-nche-gu_, the younger ; peshi-gu_, the elder.

The Accusative takes no termination, as in a#-hong a#-pui un-ke#-la#-le#, wasted the whole of his property. The Genitive takes no termination, and precedes the noun that governs it, as in the-bd chu, swine’s food.

Other suffixes of case are ka# or ki, to; ki, from; ka#, in; nyu_,in; ghenyu_,from; zanho, with. Adjectives follow the noun they qualify, and in that case, case-and number-suffixes are added to them, and not to the noun, as in reni kaje-ki, to a far country. They take the prefix ke as in Angami, thus, ke-gwa#, good.

PRONOUNS: The first and third person personal pronouns are identical in form. It is possible that in such cases the two words, which are the same in appearance, are distinguished by being pronounced with different tones, but no concrete information is available on this matter.

(a) First Person: Nom, a#-le#; a-n#yo, we; a#-no, to me ; a#, my. The syllable a# is used as a pronominal prefix, meaning my, me, to me. Thus, a#-pfu_, my father; a#-tsu_-ta$, give to me.

(b) Second Person: Nom-sing. ne#. The general sing. is un or u@, as in un-si#-ka#zang, thy brother; u@-hong, thy property.

Third Person: The Nom. sing. is a#-le#. Other cases are a#-ka#, to him; and a# common as a prefix, as in a#-pfu_, his father; a#-khu-lo-ho, seeing him. For the plural the list of words gives apu_renyi and also ha ghu-ne#.

hi-le# is ‘this’. tsu_-ge#,pl. tsu_-nyu, that. tsu_-renyi-ka#, in that village. sage#-ho, who? ngute#-ho,what? ta#-me#, anyone. The interrogative participle ho is placed at the end of the sentence.

VERBS: These present many points of uncertainty. As in Angami, the suffixes of the present and of the past tense are the same, and the meaning of the verb must be concluded from the content.

The most common verb substantive is bi-ne#, is or was. bi-nyong is also common with the same meaning. azang-he-le#, thou lives with me.

In the case of the other verbs, the most usual suffix of the present is le# or ne#. In te#-bi-nyong, was doing, nyong apparently gives a continuative or durative sense.

An example of the simplest form of a past tense is zo#-le#, said and the simplest form of the future is vu_-ti, will strike.

The Genitive takes no termination, and precedes the noun that governs it, as in the-bd chu, swine’s food.



Linguistic Survey of India; G.A. Grierson. Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass. New delhi.