Northern Kuki-Chin
Northeastern Kuki-Chin
Northern Chin
EthnicityZomi and Chin
Myanmar and Northeast India
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan
Glottolognort3179  (Northeastern Kuki-Chin)

Northern Kuki-Chin (or Northeastern Kuki-Chin[1]) is a branch of Kuki-Chin languages. It is called Northeastern Kuki-Chin by Peterson (2017) to distinguish it from the Northwestern Kuki-Chin languages. VanBik (2009:31) also calls the branch Northern Chin or Zo.

Except for Thado speakers, most Northern Kuki-Chin speakers self-identify as part of a wider Zomi ethnic group.

Lingua francas

Tedim is the local lingua franca of northern Chin State, Myanmar, while Thado (also known as Kuki) is the local lingua franca of much of southern Manipur State, India.


VanBik (2009) includes the following languages as Northern Kuki-Chin languages. The positions of Ngawn and Ralte are not addressed by VanBik (2009), but they are classified as Northern Kuki-Chin in Glottolog.

Zomi languages

See also: Zomi people

The Zomi languages refer to most of the Northern Kuki-Chin languages, excluding Thado (Kuki) and a few other peripheral languages. Zomi is a cultural cover term that refers to speakers of languages such as Tedim, Paite, Simte, Zou, Vaiphei, and Ralte. Organizations such as the Zomi Language & Literature Society (ZOLLS) in Churachandpur, Manipur, India are currently working on developing a unified standard "Zomi" language.[2]


VanBik (2009:31) divides the Northern Kuki-Chin branch into two major language clusters, namely the Thado cluster and Sizang cluster.

Sound changes

VanBik (2009) lists the following sound changes from Proto-Kuki-Chin to Proto-Northern Chin.

Further reading


  1. ^ Peterson, David. 2017. "On Kuki-Chin subgrouping." In Picus Sizhi Ding and Jamin Pelkey, eds. Sociohistorical linguistics in Southeast Asia: New horizons for Tibeto-Burman studies in honor of David Bradley, 189-209. Leiden: Brill.
  2. ^ S. Dal Sian Pau. 2014. The comparative study of Proto-Zomi (Kuki-Chin) languages. Lamka, Manipur, India: Zomi Language & Literature Society (ZOLLS).