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Pnar language

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Title: Pnar language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Austroasiatic languages, Languages of Bangladesh, Myntdu River, States and union territories of India, Tai Loi language
Collection: Khasian Languages, Languages of Bangladesh, Languages of India
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pnar language

Native to India, Bangladesh
Ethnicity Pnar people
Native speakers
250,000  (2001)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3 pbv
Glottolog pnar1238[2]

Pnar (also known as Jaintia or Synteng[3]) is an Austroasiatic language spoken in India and Bangladesh.

"Pnar" is not an official language of Meghalaya State. It is one of the Khasi varieties such as Khynriam, Bhoi, War, Maram, Lyngngam, etc. The Pnars are parts of the Hynñiewtrep people culturally, and the language used in education is "Khasi". So, in Meghalaya State, the only indigenous official languages are: Khasi and Garo.


  • Phonology 1
    • Vowels 1.1
    • Consonants 1.2
  • Syllable Structure 2
  • References 3


Pnar has 28 phonemes: 7 vowels and 21 consonants. Other sounds listed below are phonetic realizations.[4]


Front Near Central Near Back
Close /i/ [ɨ] /u/
Near-close [ɪ] [ʊ]
Close-Mid /e/ /o/
Mid [ə]
Open-Mid /ɛ/ [ʌ] /ɔ/
Open /ɑ/


Consonants Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Unaspirated Stop /p/
/k/ /ʔ/
Aspirated Stop /pʰ/
Fricative /s/ /h/
Nasal /m/ /n/ /ɲ/ /ŋ/
Lateral /l/
Trill /r/
Approximant /w/ /j/

Syllable Structure

Syllables in Pnar can consist of a single nucleic vowel. Maximally, they can include a complex onset of two consonants, a diphthong nucleus, and a coda consonant. A second type of syllable contains a syllabic nasal/trill/lateral immediately following the onset consonant. This syllabic consonant behaves as the rhyme. (Ring, 2012: 141-2)


  1. ^ Pnar at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Pnar". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Sidwell, Paul. (2005). The Katuic languages: classification, reconstruction and comparative lexicon. LINCOM studies in Asian linguistics, 58. Muenchen: Lincom Europa. ISBN 3-89586-802-7
  4. ^ Ring, Hiram. 2012. A phonetic description and phonemic analysis of Jowai-Pnar. Mon-Khmer Studies 40:133–175.
  • Choudhary, Narayam Kumar (2004). Word Order in Pnar. Jawaharlal Nehru University. p. 87. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
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