Northern Naga
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan
  • Konyak–Chang
  • Tangsa–Nocte

The Konyak languages, or alternatively the Konyakian, Northern Naga, or Patkaian[1] languages, is a branch of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken by various Naga peoples in southeastern Arunachal Pradesh and northeastern Nagaland states of northeastern India. They are not particularly closely related to other Naga languages spoken further to the south, but rather to other Sal languages such as Jingpho and the Bodo-Garo languages. There are many dialects, and villages even a few kilometers apart frequently have to rely on a separate common language.

Proto-Northern Naga, the reconstructed proto-language of the Konyak languages, has been reconstructed by Walter French (1983). The linkage of the Konyak and Jingphaw languages with Boro–Garo languages suggests that Proto-Garo-Bodo-Konyak-Jinghpaw, which is Sal-speaking people also known as Brahmaputran-speaking people, entered Assam from somewhere to the northeast. It has been proposed that the Proto-Garo-Bodo-Konyak-Jinghpaw language was a lingua franca of different linguistic communities, not all of whom were native speakers, and that it began as a creolized lingua franca.




Ethnologue 17 adds Makyam (Paungnyuan), while Glottolog adds a Khiamniungic branch within the Konyak-Chang branch. Makyam is most closely related to Leinong (Htangan) (Naw Sawu 2016:6).


Below is a classification of the Northern Naga (Konyak) languages by Hsiu (2018) based on a computational phylogenetic analysis.[2]

Phom belongs to the Konyak-Wancho branch. Chang may have originally been a Konyak-Wancho language that was heavily influenced by Ponyo-Khiamniungan-Lainong. The homeland of Northern Naga is placed in the Lahe Township area.[2]


  1. ^ van Dam, Kellen Parker; Thaam, Keen (2023). A First Description of Wolam Ngio, a Khiamniungic Language of Nagaland and Myanmar. 56th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, 10-12 October 2023. Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
  2. ^ a b Hsiu, Andrew (2018). "Northern Naga (Konyak)". Sino-Tibetan Branches Project. Retrieved 2023-03-09.