Deori
Chutia, Deori-Chutia
দেউৰী
Native toIndia
RegionAssam, Arunachal Pradesh
EthnicityDeori
Native speakers
32,376 (2011 census)[1]
Assamese script
Language codes
ISO 639-3der
Glottologdeor1238
ELPDeori

Deori[2] is a Tibeto-Burman language in the Sino-Tibetan language family spoken by the Deori people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.[3] Out of three, only one clan of the Deori tribe, the Dibongya, have retained the language. The others, Tengaponia and Borgoyan, have shifted to Assamese, but among the Dibongya it is vigorous. It was the original language of Upper Assam.[4] As per the Linguistic Survey of India(1898-1928), the Deori(referred to as Chutia) language represents the most archaic stage of the Bodo-Kachari language family. It is most closely connected with the Dimasa language, but is certainly more primitive in its grammatical system.[5] According to PRT Gurdon (1903), the Deori-Chutia language is very similar to the Moran dialect of Assamese and it can well be stated that the Moran language was nothing but a transitional language between Deori and Assamese language. Although the writers of colonial era termed the language as "Chutia language"(Deoris were formerly known as Deori-Chutias), the Chutia people today speak Assamese. Therefore, at present, there is no evidence of closeness of the language with the Chutia community. [6]

Distribution of Deori-Chutiya Language in Upper Assam, as reported in the Language Survey of India 1903
Distribution of Deori-Chutiya Language in Upper Assam, as reported in the Language Survey of India 1903

Deori is spoken in Lohit district, Arunachal Pradesh, and in Lakhimpur district, Dhemaji district, Tinsukia district, and Jorhat district of Assam. It was once the original language of Upper Assam.

The Deori language is one of the most influential languages which has helped develop the Assamese language in Upper Assam.

The Chutia/Deori word for water is "Di/Dji", which apparently forms the first syllable of all major rivers of Upper Assam including Dibang, Disang, Dikhou, Dikrong River, Dikarai, Dihing, Digaru, Difolu, which shows that this group of people were the dominant tribe in the entire region with their seat in Sadiya, the earliest known power and civilisation of Chutia.[7] However, the word for water has a similar form in many other languages of the Sal branch of Sino-Tibetan to which Deori belongs, so it is not conclusive evidence that Deori speakers were the first to occupy this area.[8]

Vocabulary

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Some of the words of Deori language present in Assamese derived from the dictionary Chuperemago[9] are:

Deori word Assamese word Meaning
Khang Khong Anger
Dep-Depia Dhep-Dhepia Plum
Auja Auja Incline
Atiru Ati Highland
Pulunga Pulunga Straight
Lakia Lekhia Similar
Gujung Jung Spear
Mijima Mihi Smooth
On On Yes
Numoi Numoli Little girl
Norani Nora Straw
Dong Dong Irrigation Channel
Dekagu Deka Young man
Kalahaas Kalahas Alkaline prepared from banana stem
Kharisa Kharisa Bamboo Shoot
Bisu Bihu Folk Festival of Assam
Anali Anali Helpless
Tangan Tangan Beating Stick
Boutar Batar Weather
Hoja Hoja Simple
Jiyoi Jiyori Girl
Uyung Uyi Termite
Dokhar Dokhar Piece of cut off
Mena Mena Crooked
Habang Hebang Silly
Bonda Bonda Male cat
Ingkori Ingkori An insect
Seu Seu Habit
Meli Meli Unfold
Lapha Lapha A type of green-leafy be
Khaofi Ufi Dandruff
Aapa Aapa Father
Medali Madoli A type of Assamese Jewelry
Jakoi Jakoi Fishing tool
Khaloi Khaloi Basket
Dao Daok A type of bird
Dolong Dolong Bridge
Ketenga Ketenga Thin/Feeble
Chutuga Chuti Short
Hichori Huchori Bihu Carol
Hata Heta Spatula
Hajia Hajia Labor
Agu Athu Knee
Ka Kai Elder Brother
Jiku Jik Wet
Gila Ghila Knee cap
Eri Eri Eri silk
Gadu Gadu Pillow
Hasu Hasi Sneeze
Hami Hami Yawn
Hogora Hogora A Deer species
Kera Kera Displaced eye
Keturi Keturi A kind of turmeric
Kekura Kekura Crooked
Maguru Magur Cat fish
Kimu Kami Bamboo twig
Soru Horu Small
Temi Temi Container
Borola Borola Widower
Besoni Bisoni Handfan
Jeng Jeng Bush
Pei Pehi Paternal Aunty
Jabor Jabor Waste
Hapholu Hapholu Out hill
Kusia Kusia Eel
Kerketua Kerketuwa Squirrel
Fosola Posola Banana stem
Gorali Goral Cage
Gosok Gosok Trample
Ukha Ukha Breath
Amoto Amothu Heart
Guwa Guwa Areca nut
Suruka Suruka Clean
Hereka Hereka Tasteless
Kuduna Khundona Grinding pot
Takun Takun Stick
Jobura Jobura Vegetable curry
Kharoli Kharoli Mustard paste
Likota Likota Sticky
Hao Hao Curse
Umoni Umoni Incubate
Ubiriba Uburi Huwa Lying chest down
Sereng-sereng Sereng-sereng Excessive heat of sun
Robju Robo/Roba Wait
Ayoi Ayoi Painful sensation
Bega Benga Jump
Dep Depia Dhep Dhepia Plumb
Sa karba Kurua Sunrise
Dogia Dhokia Beat
Heleng-jeleng Heleng-jeleng Weakness
Kunga Kunga Crippled
Dai Daiti Paternal Uncle
Datig Dati Border area
Roina Roina Cleaning instrument
Pelinga Pelenga Boy
Kubi Kuki A type of Basket
Dun Dun Small basket
Dokora Dokora Wooden hammer
Hesiba Hesa mora Press
Hiju Hiju A plant
Keng keng Kengkengoni Yap
Isa Risa/Riha Wrapper cloth
Sumu Sum A plant
Rang-si Rang kukur Wild dog
Megela Megela bon Plum grass
Teku Tekeli Pot
Tokou Tokou A type of Palm tree
Serepa Serepa A type of insect

Further reading

References

  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Acharyya, Prarthana; Mahanta, Shakuntala (1 September 2019). "Language vitality assessment of Deori: An endangered language". Language Documentation & Conservation. 13: 514–544. ISSN 1934-5275.
  4. ^ Brown, William Barclays (2015) [1895]. An Outline grammar of the Deori Chutiya language spoken in Upper Assam. Shillong.
  5. ^ Grierson, George, Linguistic Survey of India(Volume 3-2), p. 118.
  6. ^ "The extant literature on Deori (Brown 1895; Brandreth 1878; Grierson 1909; Goswami 1994) associates the language of the Deori community with the Chutiyas, "the original language of Upper Assam" (Brown 1895:5). At present, there is no evidence of closeness of the Deori language to the language spoken by the Chutiya community." (Acharyya & Mahanta 2019:516)
  7. ^ Endle 1911, p. 4.
  8. ^ Coupe, Alexander R.; Kratochvíl, František (2020), "Asia before English", The Handbook of Asian Englishes, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, pp. 13–48, doi:10.1002/9781118791882.ch2, ISBN 978-1-118-79188-2, retrieved 12 January 2021
  9. ^ Kishor Deori, Chuperemago(1997)