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Lyngngam language

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Title: Lyngngam language  
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Subject: Austroasiatic languages, Tai Loi language, Lamet language, Phai language, Sapuan language
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Lyngngam language

Native to India
Region Meghalaya, Assam
Native speakers
5,000  (1994)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 lyg
Glottolog lyng1241[2]

Lyngngam is an Austroasiatic language of Northeast India. Once listed as a dialect of Khasi, Lyngngam has in recent literature been classified as a distinct language which shares a common heritage with Standard Khasi.


Consonant inventory

The following table lists the consonants attested in Lyngngam.[3]

  Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/ /ɲ/ /ŋ/  
Stop voiceless /p/ /t/ /c/ /k/ /ʔ/
aspirated /pʰ/ /tʰ/ /cʰ/ /kʰ/  
voiced /b/ /d/ /ɟ/ /ɡ/  
Voiceless fricative   /s/     /h/
Liquid   /l, r/      
Glide /w/   /j/    

The main difference with the Khasi language is that Lyngngam does not possess the voiced aspirated series. Furthermore, Lyngngam does not have the phoneme /ç/. Words which have /ç/ in Khasi typically have /c/ or /s/ in Lyngngam,[4] as in the following pairs of cognates:

Lyngngam Khasi meaning
cʔeŋ çʔeŋ bone
cɨppʰeu çipʰeu 10
sɲjək çɲiuʔ hair
snaːr çnjaʔ chisel

Vowel inventory

The following table lists the vowel inventory of the language.[3] The only vowels showing a length distinction are /i/ and /a/, in contradistinction to Khasi, where length is distinctive for all vowels.

High /i, iː/ /ɨ/ /u/
Mid /e/ /ə/ /o/
Low /a, aː/

Words with diphthongs in Khasi have monophthongs in Lyngngam,[4] as in the following pairs of cognates:

Lyngngam Khasi meaning
bni bnaːi month
ksu ksəu dog
mot miet night


  1. ^ Lyngngam at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Lyngngam". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b Nagaraja 1996, sect. 1
  4. ^ a b Nagaraja 1996, sect. 2
  • Nagaraja, K.S. (1996). "The status of Lyngngam". Mon–Khmer Studies 26: 37–50. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
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