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About the project

Out of the total of 22 scheduled languages of the Union of India, only 5 languages which are spoken in North-East India included under scheduled languages (Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Manipuri & Nepali). Out of the 100 non-scheduled languages mentioned in the census of India, 2001 (a comprehensive language analysis of the 2011 census is not yet available), 55 languages are spoken in the North East. This presents only half the picture as those speech communities which have less than 10, 000 speakers are not represented by the census data.

UNESCO's report on Language Vitality and Endangerment (2003) maintains that out of the 900 ecoregions 238 (referred to as Global 200 Ecoregions) are found to be of the utmost importance for the maintenance of the world's ecological viability. UNESCO's report on 'Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (2009)' indicate that that India has the largest number of endangered languages in the world. The current endangered languages India, which are 196 in total, include scheduled, non-scheduled as well as official languages of some of the states. A large number of these languages are in North East India with Arunachal Pradesh alone having 36 languages.

The heterogeneity of the language profile of the North-East makes it a challenge for any Government to promote language maintenance in these remote and inaccessible areas.

The project aims to address the preservation of these identified North east languages with the help of a consortium of several North eastern Universities which are IIT Guwahati, Tezpur University, Tripura University, Mizoram University, Manipur University, and Nagaland University in which the following languages will be considered:

  • Dimasa and Tiwa languages spoken in Assam.
  • Hruso-Aka and Koro-Aka languages spoken in East Kameng, West Kameng and East Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Reang and Mog languages spoken in Tripura.
  • Chothe and Moyon languages spoken in Manipur.
  • Teniydie and Sema languages spoken in Nagaland.
  • Mizo and Lai languages spoken in Mizoram.