Kachari is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Boro-Garo subgroup, spoken in Assam, India. With fewer than 60,000 speakers recorded in 1997, and the Asam 2001 Census reporting a literacy rate of 81% the Kachari language is currently ranked as threatened. Kachari is closely related to surrounding languages, including Tiwa, Rābhā, Hajong, Kochi and Mechi.
While there are still living adult speakers, many children are not learning Kachari as their primary language, instead being assimilated into the wider Assamese speaking communities.
According to LSI, Kachari language was divided into Plain Kachari or Bårå(Boro) and Hill Kachari or Dimasa.
Kachari consists of the 13 consonants shown below and three Non-syllabics,(Frictional: h, frictionless palatal: y, frictionless rounded velar: w) :
|Verb "to See" |
|Case||Case Form||Final Form||Meaning|
|Progressive||-dang||nu-dang||I am seeing|
|Simple Past||-bai||nu-bai||I saw|
|Past Progressive||-dangman||nu-dangman||I did see|
|Past Remote||-nai||nu-nai||I had seen|
|Simple Future||-gan||nu-gan||I will see|
|Paulo-post Future||-si-gan||nu-si-gan||I will see (almost immediately)|
|-thang||nu-thang||Let him (them) see|
As can be seen from the chart above, the future tense is indicated with -gan, while -si- indicates that the future event will occur soon or in the near future. One example is "Bí faigan", he will come, as opposed to "Bí faisigan", he will come (almost at once) or he is about to come.
Present tense is shown through three affixes, "ǔ", "dong" and "gô". The first two forms represent indefinite and definite forms and are far more common that "gô", which is frequently only used to answer questions in the affirmative.
Most adjectives can be added both before or after the noun it is describing, though it gains the case ending if it follows the noun, rather than precedes it. This follows the identification of as a strongly suffixing language. However, this classification goes against Konwar's description of Kachari and a related language, Karbi, as primarily prefixing to create adjectives.
Numerical adjectives are always inserted after the noun it is describing. For example, "ten goats" is "Burmá má-zǔ" with "Burmá" meaning goat, "má" being the classifier for "animal" and the number ten being "zǔ".
Gender - Common nouns such as father, mother, brother or sister have distinct masculine and feminine words while other nouns including animals, will typically have the words for male and female, -jelá and -jeu respectively, added on as a suffix to denote gender. Other common masculine and feminine suffix forms that may be used include -zǎlá/-zǔ, -bundā/-bundi, -bóndá/-bóndi, -phántá/-phánti and -pherá/-pheri.
Kachari has a decimal system and counts to 10 with unique words, after which the number words combine to add to the larger number as shown in the chart below.
|1. sé||21. nɯizise|
|2. nɯí||22. nɯizinɯi|
|3. tʰám||22. nɯizitʰam|
|4. brɯí||24. nɯizibrɯi|
|5. bá||25. nɯiziba|
|6. dɔ́||26. nɯizidɔ|
|7. sní||27. nɯizisni|
|8. daín||28. nɯizidain|
|9. ɡú||29. nɯiziɡu|
|10. zí||30. tʰamzí|
|11. zíse||40. brɯizí|
|12. zínɯi||50. bazí|
|13. zítʰám||60. dɔzí|
|14. zíbrɯi||70. snizí|
|15. zíba||80. dainzí|
|16. zídɔ||90. ɡuzí|
|17. zísni||100. zɯusé / sezɯú|
|18. zídaín||200. nɯizɯú|
|19. zíɡu||1000. sé rɯ̀za|
|20. nɯizí||2000. nɯí rɯ̀za|
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