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Assamese (), also Asamiya ( ), 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, and serves as ''lingua franca'' of the region. Nefamese is an Assamese-based pidgin 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 Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts of India are linguistically closer to Assamese, though the speakers identify with the Bengali culture and the literary language. 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 7th century CE from the middle Indo-Aryan Magadhi Prakrit, which developed from dialects similar to, but in some ways more archaic than Vedic Sanskrit. 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.

History

in Sanskrit with Assamese letters''.]] ">File:Asamiya Rô.png|thumb|222x222px|

''One of the Assamese_script''.
Assamese_originated_in_[[Old-Indo-Aryan.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Assamese alphabet">Assamese script''. Assamese originated in Old_Indo-Aryan_dialects,_though_the_exact_nature_of_its_origin_and_growth_is_not_clear_yet._It_is_generally_believed_that_Assamese_and_the_Old_Indo-Aryan_dialects,_though_the_exact_nature_of_its_origin_and_growth_is_not_clear_yet._It_is_generally_believed_that_Assamese_and_the_[[Kamatapuri_lects">Old-Indo-Aryan">Old_Indo-Aryan_dialects,_though_the_exact_nature_of_its_origin_and_growth_is_not_clear_yet._It_is_generally_believed_that_Assamese_and_the_[[Kamatapuri_lects_derive_from_the_[[Kamarupi_Prakrit.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Kamatapuri_lects.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Old-Indo-Aryan">Old Indo-Aryan dialects, though the exact nature of its origin and growth is not clear yet. It is generally believed that Assamese and the [[Kamatapuri lects">Old-Indo-Aryan">Old Indo-Aryan dialects, though the exact nature of its origin and growth is not clear yet. It is generally believed that Assamese and the [[Kamatapuri lects derive from the [[Kamarupi Prakrit">Kamarupi dialect of Eastern [[Magadhi Prakrit]] that kept to the north of the [[Ganges]]; though some authors contest a close connection of Assamese with Magadhi Prakrit. Assamese developed from Indo-Aryan settlements of [[Kamarupa]]—in urban centers and along the Brahmaputra river surrounded by Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic communities. 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. 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. These changes were likely due to non-Indo-Aryan speakers adopting the language. The newly differentiated vernacular is evident in the Prakritisms present in the Sanskrit of the Kamarupa inscriptions and Assamese eventually emerged from this vernacular.

Magadhan and Gauda-Kamarupa stages

The earliest forms of Assamese in literature are found in the 9th-century Buddhist verses called Charyapada 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. The spirit and expressiveness of the ''Charyadas'' are today found in the folk songs called ''Deh-Bicarar Git''. 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'') Assamese grammatical peculiarities coexist with features from Bengali language. Though the Gauda-Kamarupa stage is generally accepted and partially supported by recent works, it is not fully established linguistically.

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''. 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. This period corresponds to the common stage of proto-Kamta and early Assamese. The emergence of Sankardev's Ekasarana Dharma in the 15th-century triggered a revival in language and literature. 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 writing 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. In this writing the first person future tense ending ''-m'' (''korim'': "will do"; ''kham'': "will eat") is seen for the first time.

Middle Assamese

The language moved to the court of the Ahom kingdom in the seventeenth century, 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. 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. The language of the Buranjis is nearly modern with 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. The Buranjis, dealing with statecraft, was also the vehicle by which Arabic and Persian elements crept into the language in abundance. Due to the influence of the Ahom state the speech in eastern Assam took a homogeneous and standard form. 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. The EIC had earlier promoted the development of Bengali to replace Persian, the language of administration in Mughal India, and maintained that Assamese was a dialect of Bengali. 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). The ABM argued strongly with the EIC officials in an intense debate in the 1850s to reinstate Assamese. 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. 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.

Standardisation

In the extant Assamese manuscripts the orthography was not uniform. The ABM had evolved a phonemic orthography based on a contracted set of characters. 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), 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. 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. 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. This core is further embellished with Goalpariya and Kamrupi idioms and forms.


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 Rakhine state 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.

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.

Phonology

The Assamese phonemic inventory consists of eight vowels, ten diphthongs, and twenty-three consonants (including two semivowels).Assamese
, Resource Centre for Indian Language Technology Solutions, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.



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 . The first twenty-five consonants letters are called ''sparxa barna'' . These ''sparxa barna''s are again divided into five ''barga''s. Therefore, these twenty-five letters are also called "bargia barna".

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. 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). 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 is normally realised as or as a retroflex approximant.

Voiceless velar fricative

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

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. This is another feature it shares with other languages of Northeast India, though in Assamese the velar nasal never occurs word-initially.

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: ''kola'' ('deaf'), ''kóla'' ('black'), ''kwla'' ('lap'), and ''kula'' ('winnowing fan'). The near-close near-back rounded vowel is unique in this branch of the language family. But in lower Assam, ও is pronounced same as অ' (ó). ''kwla'' ''mwr''

Vowel harmony

Assamese has vowel harmony. The vowels and cause the preceding mid vowels and the high back vowels to change to and and respectively. Assamese is one of the few languages spoken in India which exhibit a systematic process of vowel harmony

Schwa deletion

The schwa in modern Assamese, represented by //, is generally deleted in the final position unless it is (1) /w/ (); or (2) /y/ () after higher vowels like /i/ () or /u/ (). 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. 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'' ( ), 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.


Sample text


The following is a sample text in Assamese of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Assamese in Assamese alphabet : 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 : Gloss :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. Translation :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: * Gender and number are not grammatically marked. * There is a 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.

Negation process

Verbs in Assamese are negated by adding before the verb, with picking up the initial vowel of the verb. For example: * 'do(es) not want' (1st, 2nd and 3rd persons) * 'will not write' (1st person) * 'will not nibble' (1st person) * 'does not count' (3rd person) * 'do not do' (2nd person)

Classifiers

Assamese has a large collection of classifiers, which are used extensively for different kinds of objects, acquired from the Sino-Tibetan languages. A few examples of the most extensive and elaborate use of classifiers are given below: *"''zɔn''" is used to signify a person, male with some amount of respect **E.g., manuh-''zɔn'' – "the man" *"''zɔni''" (female) is used after a noun or pronoun to indicate human beings **E.g., manuh-''zɔni'' – "the woman" *"''zɔni''" is also used to express the non-human feminine **E.g., sɔɹai ''zɔni'' – "the bird", pɔɹuwa-''zɔni'' – "the ant" *"''zɔna''" and "''gɔɹaki''" are used to express high respect for both man and woman **E.g., kɔbi-''zɔna'' – "the poet", gʊxaɪ-''zɔna'' – "the goddess", rastrapati-''gɔɹaki'' – "the president", tiɹʊta-''gɔɹaki'' – "the woman" *"''tʊ''" has three forms: ''tʊ'', ''ta'', ''ti'' **(a) tʊ: is used to specify something, although the case of someone, e.g., loɹa-''tʊ'' – "the particular boy", is impolite **(b) ta: is used only after numerals, e.g., ɛ''ta'', du''ta'', tini''ta'' – "one, two, three" **(c) ti: is the diminutive form, e.g., kesua-''ti'' – "the infant, besides expressing more affection or attachment to *"''kɔsa''", "''mɔtʰa''" and "''taɹ''" are used for things in bunches **E.g., sabi-''kɔsa'' - "the bunch of key", saul-''mɔtʰa'' – "a handful of rice", suli-''taɹi'' or suli ''kɔsa'' – "the bunch of hair" *''dal'', ''dali'', are used after nouns to indicate something long but round and solid **E.g., bãʱ-''dal'' - "the bamboo", katʰ-''dal'' – "the piece of wood", bãʱ-''dali'' – "the piece of bamboo" In Assamese, classifiers are generally used in the ''numeral + classifier + noun'' (e.g. ejon manuh 'one man') or the ''noun + numeral + classifier'' (e.g. manuh ejon 'one man') forms.

Nominalization

Most verbs can be converted into nouns by the addition of the suffix . For example, ('to eat') can be converted to khaon ('good eating').

Grammatical cases

Assamese has 8 grammatical cases:

Pronouns

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''.

Tense

With consonant ending verb likh (write) and vowel ending verb kha (eat, drink, consume). For different types of verbs. {| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center;" align="center" style="font-size:80%; |- !rowspan="2"| Tense !rowspan="2"| Person !colspan="2"| tho "put" !colspan="2"| kha "consume" !colspan="2"| pi "drink" !colspan="2"| de "give" !colspan="2"| dhu "wash" !colspan="2"| kor "do" !colspan="2"| randh "cook" !colspan="2"| ah "come" |- !+ !- !+ !- !+ !- !+ !- !+ !- !+ !- !+ !- !+ !- |- !rowspan="4"| Simple Present !1stper. |thow |nothow |khaw |nakhaw ~ nekhaw |piw |nipiw |diw |nidiw |dhw |nudhw |korw |nokorw |randhw |narandhw ~ nerandhw |ahw |nahw |- !2ndper.inf. |thwa |nothwa |khwa |nakhwa ~ nekhwa |piua |nipiua |dia |nidia |dhua |nudhua |kora |nokora |randha |narandha ~ nerandha |aha |naha |- !2ndper.pol. |thwa |nwthwa |khwa |nwkhwa |piua |nipiua |dia |nidia |dhwa |nwdhwa |kora |nokora |randha |narandha ~ nerandha |aha |naha |- !2ndper.hon.&3rdper. |thoe |nothoe |khae |nakhae ~ nekhae |pie |nipie |die |nidie |dhwe |nudhwe |kore |nokore |randhe |narandhe ~ nerandhe |ahe |nahe |- !rowspan="4"| Present continuous !1st per. |thói asw |rowspan="4"| thoi thoka nai |khai asw |rowspan="4"| khai thoka nai |pi asu |rowspan="4"| pi thoka nai |di asw |rowspan="4"| di thoka nai |dhui asw |rowspan="4"| dhui thoka nai |kori asw |rowspan="4"| kóri thoka nai |randhi asw |rowspan="4"| randhi thoka nai |ahi asw |rowspan="4"| ahi thoka nai |- !2ndper.inf. |thoi aso |khai aso |pi aso |di aso |dhui aso |kori aso |randhi aso |ahi aso |- !2ndper.pol. |thoi asa |khai asa |pi asa |di asa |dhui asa |kori asa |randhi asa |ahi asa |- !2ndper.hon.&3rdper. |thoi ase |khai ase |pi ase |di ase |dhui ase |kori ase |randhi ase |ahi ase |- !rowspan="4"| Present Perfect !1st per. |thoisw |rowspan="4"| thwa nai |khaisw |rowspan="4"| khwa nai |pisw |rowspan="4"| pia nai |disw |rowspan="4"| dia nai |dhui asw |rowspan="4"| dhwa nai |korisw |rowspan="4"| kora nai |randhisw |rowspan="4"| rondha nai |ahi asw |rowspan="4"| oha nai |- !2ndper.inf. |thóisó |khaisó |pisó |disó |dhuisó |kórisó |randhisó |ahisó |- !2nd per. pol. |thoisa |khaisa |pisa |disa |dhuisa |korisa |randhisa |ahisa |- !2nd per. hon. & 3rd per. |thoise |khaise |pise |dise |dhuise |korise |randhise |ahise |- !rowspan="4"| Recent Past !1st per. |thölw |nothölw |khalw |nakhalw ~ nekhalw |pilw |nipilw |dilw |nidilw |dhulw |nudhulw |korilw |nokórilw |randhilw |narandhilw ~ nerandhilw |ahilw |nahilw |- !2nd per. inf. |thöli |nothöli |khali |nakhali ~ nekhali |pili |nipili |dili |nidili |dhuli |nudhuli |kórili |nókórili |randhili |narandhili ~ nerandhili |ahilw |nahilw |- !2nd per. pol. |thöla |nothöla |khala |nakhala ~ nekhala |pila |nipila |dila |nidila |dhula |nudhula |kórila |nókórila |randhila |narandhila ~ nerandhila |ahila |nahila |- !2ndper.hon.&3rdper. |thöle |nothöle |khale |nakhale ~ nekhale |pile |nipile |dile |nidile |dhule |nudhule |kórile |nókórile |randhile |narandhile ~ nerandhile |ahile / ahiltr |nahile / nahiltr |- !rowspan="4"| Distant Past !1st per. |thoisilw |nothoisilw ~ thwa nasilw |khaisilw |nakhaisilw ~ nekhaisilw ~ khwa nasilw |pisilw |nipisilw ~ pia nasilw |disilw |nidisilw ~ dia nasilw |dhuisilw |nudhuisilw ~ dhüa nasilw |kórisilw |nókórisilw ~ kora nasilw |randhisilw |narandhisilw ~ nerandhisilw ~ rondha nasilw |ahisilw |nahisilw ~ oha nasilw |- !2nd per. inf. |thoisili |nothóisili ~ thwa nasili |khaisili |nakhaisili ~ nekhaisili ~ khwa nasili |pisili |nipisili ~ pia nasili |disili |nidisili ~ dia nasili |dhuisili |nudhuisili ~ dhwa nasili |korisili |nokorisili ~ kora nasili |randhisili |narandhisili ~ nerandhisili ~ rondha nasili |ahisili |nahisili ~ oha nasili |- !2nd per. pol. |thoisila |nothóisila ~ thwa nasila |khaisila |nakhaisila ~ nekhaisila ~ khüa nasila |pisila |nipisila ~ pia nasila |disila |nidisila ~ dia nasila |dhuisila |nudhuisila ~ dhwa nasila |korisila |nokorisila ~ kora nasila |randhisila |narandhisila ~ nerandhisila ~ rondha nasila |ahisila |nahisila ~ oha nasila |- !2nd per. hon. & 3rd per. |thoisile |nothoisile ~ thwa nasile |khaisile |nakhaisile ~ nekhaisile ~ khwa nasile |pisile |nipisile ~ pia nasile |disile |nidisile ~ dia nasile |dhuisile |nudhuisile ~ dhüa nasile |korisile |nokorisile ~ kora nasile |randhisile |narandhisile ~ nerandhisile ~ rondha nasile |ahisile |nahisile ~ oha nasile |- |- !rowspan="4"| Past continuous !1st per. |thoi asilw |thoi thoka nasilw |khai asilw |khai thoka nasilw |pi asilw |pi thoka nasilw |di asilw |di thoka nasilw |dhui asils |dhui thoka nasils |kori asils |kori thoka nasils |randhi asils |randhi thoka nasils |ahi asils |ahi thoka nasils |- !2nd per. inf. |thoi asili |thoi thoka nasili |khai asili |khai thoka nasili |pi asili |pi thoka nasili |di asili |di thoka nasili |dhui asili |dhui thoka nasili |kori asili |kori thoka nasili |randhi asili |randhi thoka nasili |ahi asili |ahi thoka nasili |- !2nd per. pol. |thoi asila |thoi thoka nasila |khai asila |khai thoka nasila |pi asila |pi thoka nasila |di asila |di thoka nasila |dhui asila |dhui thoka nasila |kori asila |kori thoka nasila |randhi asila |randhi thoka nasila |ahi asila |ahi 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) |- !rowspan="4"| Simple Future !1st per. |thöm |nothöm |kham |nakham ~ nekham |pim |nipim |dim |nidim |dhum |nudhum |korim |nokorim |randhim |narandhim ~ nerandhim |ahim |nahim |- !2nd per. inf. |thöbi |nothöbi |khabi |nakhabi ~ nekhabi |pibi |nipibi |dibi |nidibi |dhubi |nudhubi |koribi |nokoribi |randhibi |narandhibi ~ nerandhibi |ahibi |nahibi |- !2nd per. pol. |thöba |nothöba |khaba |nakhaba ~ nekhaba |piba |nipiba |diba |nidiba |dhuba |nudhuba |koriba |nókóriba |randhiba |narandhiba ~ nerandhiba |ahiba |nahiba |- !2ndper.hon.&3rdper. |thöbo |nothöbo |khabo |nakhabo ~ nekhabo |pibo |nipibo |dibo |nidibo |dhubo |nudhubo |koribo |nokoribo |randhibo |narandhibo ~ nerandhibo |ahibo |nahibo |- !rowspan="4"| Future continuous !1st per. |thoi thakim |thoi nathakim/nethakim |khai thakim |khai nathakim/nethakim |pi thakim |pi nathakim/nethakim |di thakim |di nathakim/nethakim |dhui thakim |dhui nathakim/nethakim |kori thakim |kori nathakim/nethakim |randhi thakim |randhi nathakim/nethakim |ahi thakim |ahi nathakim/nethakim |- !2nd per. inf. |thoi thakibi |thoi nathakibi/nethakibi |khai thakibi |khai nathakibi/nethakibi |pi thakibi |pi nathakibi/nethakibi |di thakibi |di nathakibi/nethakibi |dhui thakibi |dhui nathakibi/nethakibi |kori thakibi |kori nathakibi/nethakibi |randhi thakibi |randhi nathakibi/nethakibi |ahi thakibi |ahi nathakibi/nethakibi |- !2nd per. pol. |thoi thakiba |thoi nathakiba/nethakiba |khai thakiba |khai nathakiba/nethakiba |pi thakiba |pi nathakiba/nethakiba |di thakiba |di nathakiba/nethakiba |dhui thakiba |dhui nathakiba/nethakiba |kori thakiba |kori nathakiba/nethakiba |randhi thakiba |randhi nathakiba/nethakiba |ahi thakiba |ahi nathakiba/nethakiba |- !2ndper.hon.&3rdper. |thoi thakibo |thoi nathakibo/nethakibo |khai thakibo |khai nathakibo/nethakibo |pi thakibo |pi nathakibo/nethakibo |di thakibo |di nathakibo/nethakibo |dhui thakibo |dhui nathakibo/nethakibo |kori thakibo |kori nathakibo/nethakibo |randhi thakibo |randhi nathakibo/nethakibo |ahi thakibo |ahi nathakibo/nethakibo |-

Relationship suffixes

{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center;" align="center" style="font-size:80%; |- ! Persons !! Suffix !! Example !! English translation |- ! 1st person | none | Mwr/Amar ma, bap, kokai, vai, ba, voni | My/Our mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister |- ! 2nd person
(very familiar; inferior) | -(e)r | Twr/Tohõtor mar, baper, kokaier, vaier, bar, vonier | Your/Your(pl) mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister |- ! 2nd person
familiar | -(e)ra | Twmar/Twmalwkor mara, bapera, kokaiera, vaiera, bara, voniera | Your/Your(pl) mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister |- ! 2nd person
formal;
3rd person | -(e)k | Apwnar/Apwnalwkor/Tar/Tair/Xihotõr/Tewr mak, bapek, kokaiek, bhaiek, bak, voniek | Your/Your(pl)/His/Her/Their/His~Her(formal) mother, father, elder-brother, younger-brother, elder-sister, younger-sister

Dialects



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, 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: * Eastern group in and around Sivasagar district, i.e., the regions of the former undivided Sivasagar district, areas of the present day Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar. Standard Assamese is based on the Eastern group. * Central group spoken in Nagaon, Sonitpur, Morigaon districts and adjoining areas * Kamrupi group in the Kamrup region: (Barpetia, Nalbariya, Palasbaria). * Goalpariya group in the Goalpara region: (Ghulliya, Jharuwa, Caruwa)

Comparison

{| class="wikitable sortable" style="font-size:80%; line-height:1.25em; !English !Eastern !Central !Kamrupi !Western Goalpariya |- |Mother |Ma/Mai, Ai |Mai, Ai |Mai/Maö, Ai |Maö, Ai, Mai |- |Why |Kiyo, Kelé |Kia |Kia/Kiyo |Kene, Ke |- |Wind |Botah | |Batah |Bataṣ |- |Money |Toka |Toka |Taka |Taka |- |Crab |Kẽküra |Kaṅkara |Kakra, Kaṅkara |Kakra |- |And |Aru |Aru, Au |Aro, Ar |Ar, Arö |- |Young male |Deka, Sengeliya |Deka, Sengera |Sengra, Deka |Sengra |- |Cattle |Goru |Goro |Goru |Göru |- |Buffalo |Móh |Moh |Moih, Muih |Moiṣ |- |Bad |Beya, |Bea |Boea, Bea |Bea, Boea |- |Plough |Nangol, Hal |Langon, Hal |Nangal, Hal | |- |Seedlings |Kothiya |Kothia |Koitha | |- |Mud |Büka |Böka |Pek | |- |Now |Etiya |Itia |Ite, Ethen |Ela |- |Once |Ebar |Eba |Akbar, Ebar |Ekbar |- |I can, I can't, I could, I couldn't |Parü, Nüarü, Parilü, Nüarilü |Parong, Norong, Parilong, Norilong |Paru, Noru, Pa(i)llu, No(i)llu |Parong, Naparong/Parong na, Parlung, Naparlung/Parlung na |- |Good person |Bhal manuh |Bhal manhu |Bhal manhu |Bhal manshi |- |I went home. |Moi ghoroloi goisilü. |Moe ghook goesilong. |Moi ghorük geisilu. |Mui ghor geisilung. |- |Will you go when I come? |Moi ahile toi jabine? |Moe ahili toi jabi na? |Moi aihli toi jabi na? |Mui/Moi ashile ki tui jabu? |- |He told us to get off the vehicle. |Xi amak garir pora namiboloi kóle. |Xi amak gai pa namiba legi kola. |Xi amak garir para nambak logi kolak. |Uai amak gaṛit thakia namiba koil. |- |You should not cut the tree with the dao. |Toi gosdal dakhonere katibo nelage. |Toe gosdal daxanedi katiba nalage. |Toi gasdal dakhan di katba nalge. |Tui gasṭa daökhan dia kaṭiba nalage. |- |Will he go? |Xi jabone? |Xi jabo na? |Xi jabo na |Uai ki jabe? |- |If we die, you will also die. |Ami morile toiü moribi. |Ami moili toü moibi. |Ami molli toiü morbi. |Amra/Ami morle tuiö morbu/morbi |- |I will tell who will be the king. |Roja kün hóbo moi kóm. |Raja kün hobu moe kom. |Raja kae hobo moi kom. |Raja kae hoibe mui koim. |- |When I was bringing the eggs, they fell on the ground. |Moi konibilak anüte matit pori gól. |Moe konibilak anöngte matit pori gól. |Moi dimagilak ante matit pori gel. |Mui dimagilak anite matit poria geil. |- |I brought fish for Nitu catching from the pond. |Nituloi pukhurir pora mas dhori anisü. |Nitu ligi puxui pa mas dhoi anisöng |Nituk lagi pukhrir para mas dhori ansü. |Nituk lagia pukhrir para mas dhoria ancung. |- |You sit. (Polite) |Apuni bohok. |Aponi bohok. |Apni bohok. |Tömra boshö. |- |Ram also went to his home eating rice with them. |Xihõtor logot Rameu bhat khai kamtü korile. |Tahõtü logot Amiu bhat khai kamtü koila. |Tahõtor logot Rameu bhat khai kamtü kollak |Umrar logot Ram(e)ö bhat khaea kamta korilek. |- |I don't eat these in this manner. |Moi enekoi eibür nekhaü. |Moe eneke eibhu naxang. |Moi enke eigila nakhaü. |Mui engka eigila nakhang. |- |When did you come? |Toi ketia ahiso? |Toe kitita ahiso? |Toi kita aihsa? |Tui kunbela ashisish? |- !English !Eastern !Central !Kamrupi !Goalpariya |-

Samples

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

Non-regional dialects

Assamese does not have caste- or occupation-based dialects. 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, whereas the western dialects were more heterogeneous. 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. 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: * Standard dialect influenced by surrounding centers. * ''Bhakatiya'' dialect highly polite, a sattra-based dialect with a different set of nominals, pronominals, and verbal forms, as well as a preference for euphemism; indirect and passive expressions. Some of these features are used in the standard dialect on very formal occasions. * The fisherman community has a dialect that is used in the central and eastern region. * The astrologer community of Darrang district has a dialect called ''thar'' that is coded and secretive. The ''ratikhowa'' and ''bhitarpanthiya'' secretive cult-based Vaisnava groups too have their own dialects. * The Muslim community have their own dialectal preference, with their own kinship, custom, and religious terms, with those in east Assam having distinct phonetic features. * The urban adolescent and youth communities (for example, Guwahati) have exotic, hybrid and local slangs. * Ethnic speech communities that use Assamese as a second language, often use dialects that are influenced heavily by the pronunciation, intonation, stress, vocabulary and syntax of their respective first languages (''Mising Eastern Assamese'', ''Bodo Central Kamrupi'', ''Rabha Eastern Goalpariya'' etc.). Two independent pidgins/creoles, associated with the Assamese language, are Nagamese (used by Naga groups) and Nefamese (used in Arunachal Pradesh).

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 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

* Indo-Aryan languages * Languages of India * Languages with official status in India * List of Indian languages by total speakers * List of languages by number of native speakers * Kamrupi litterateurs * Assamese Language Movement * Assamese people

Notes



References

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

External links


Assamese language
at ''Encyclopædia Britannica''
Axamiyaa Bhaaxaar Moulik Bisar by Mr Devananda Bharali (PDF)Candrakānta abhidhāna : Asamiyi sabdara butpatti aru udaharanere Asamiya-Ingraji dui bhashara artha thaka abhidhana.
second ed. Guwahati : Guwahati Bisbabidyalaya, 1962.
A Dictionary in Assamese and English
(1867) First Assamese dictionary by Miles Bronson from (books.google.com)
Assamese proverbs, published 1896
{{DEFAULTSORT:Assamese Language Category:Eastern Indo-Aryan languages Category:Official languages of India Category:Languages of Bangladesh Category:Languages of Assam Category:Subject–object–verb languages Category:Indo-Aryan languages