Native toIndia
RegionWokha district, Nagaland
EthnicityLotha Naga
Native speakers
179,467 (2001 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3njh
ELPLotha Naga

The Lotha language is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by approximately 180,000 people in Wokha district of west-central Nagaland, India. It is centered in the small district of Wokha (capital Wokha). This district has more than 114 villages such as Pangti, Maraju (Merapani), Englan, Baghty (Pakti) and others, where the language is widely spoken and studied.


Alternate names include Chizima, Choimi, Hlota, Kyong, Lhota, Lotha, Lutha, Miklai, Tsindir, and Tsontsii (Ethnologue).


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Lotha.

In the Linguistic Survey of India, linguist George Abraham Grierson analyzed various branches of languages in India and categorized various Naga languages into three groups: Western Naga, Eastern Naga, and Central Naga.[2] Lotha falls into the Central Naga group, which also includes the languages Ao, Sangtam, and Yimkhiungrü.[2]



Labial Dental/
Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
Affricate voiceless p͡f t͡s t͡ʃ
vd./aspirated p͡v t͡sʰ t͡ʃʰ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ h
voiced v z ʒ
Nasal voiced m n ɲ ŋ
aspirated ɲʰ ŋʰ
Lateral voiced l
Trill voiced r
Approximant voiced w j


Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e ə o
Open a

Orthography and literature

Lotha is written in the Latin script, introduced by the British and American missionaries in the late 19th century. It is a medium of education up to the post-graduate level in the state of Nagaland. It is also the language in which the church sermons are preached. The Bible has been translated into the Lotha language, adding significantly to its vocabulary, which had an influence of Assamese and Hindi.


  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. ^ a b Kumar, Braj Bihari (1 January 2005). Naga Identity. Concept Publishing Company. p. 75. ISBN 978-81-8069-192-8.
  3. ^ Bruhn, Daniel W. (2014). Proto-Central Naga; Lotha. A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Central Naga: University of California, Berkeley. pp. 151–154.
  4. ^ Acharya, K. P. (1983). Lotha grammar. Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages.