|Region||Htamanthi, Sagaing Region|
Taman is an extinct Sino-Tibetan language that was spoken in Htamanthi village in Homalin Township, Sagaing Region, northern Myanmar. It was documented in a list of 75 words in Brown (1911). Keisuke Huziwara (2016) discovered an elderly rememberer of Taman in Htamanthi who could remember some Taman phrases as well as a short song, but was not fluent in the Taman language. However, no fluent speakers of Taman remained in the area.
Taman speakers have since shifted to Burmese and Tai Naing (Red Shan), a Tai language spoken in northern Myanmar. Matisoff (2013:25) surmises that pressure from the formerly widespread Kadu language had caused Taman to become marginalized. The descendants of Taman speakers have since been assimilated into Shan society.
Benedict (1972) and Shafer (1974) classified Taman as part of the Luish branch of languages.
Words and affixes shared exclusively between Luish and Taman are (Huziwara 2016):
However, Huziwara (2016) notes that despite Taman sharing some similarities with Luish, Taman cannot be securely classified within the Luish branch itself, and its place in Tibeto-Burman remains uncertain. Taman also shares various similarities with many nearby non-Luish languages, including various Sal languages. Huziwara (2016) concludes that Taman is part of a linkage of Tibeto-Burman languages spanning across northeast India and northern Myanmar (i.e., comparable to Scott DeLancey's Central Tibeto-Burman languages), but does not recognizably fit into any known Tibeto-Burman branch.
Taman has the following phonemes.
Below are five innovations from Proto-Tibeto-Burman (PTB) to Taman identified by Huziwara (2016).
Below is Brown's (1911) Taman word list as cited and re-transcribed in Huziwara (2016:19–29), and Brown's (1911) Taman list re-transcribed by Luce (1985), as cited and re-transcribed in Huziwara (2016).
The Taman word for 'river' is the same as the word for 'water'.
|Gloss||Taman (Brown 1911)||Taman (Luce 1985)|
|father||vɔ ~ wɔ||vɔ ~ wɔ|
|hog||va ~ wa||va ~ wa (pig)|
|man (human being)||mek||mek|
|tooth||vɑkòùn ~ wɑkòùn||vɑkɔʊn ~ wɑkɔʊn|
On March 2, 2015, Keisuke Huziwara discovered an 83-year-old woman in Htamanthi who remembered some words and phrases of the Taman language, as well as a short song. The woman was born in a village just outside Htamanthi. The elicited words and phrases are (Huziwara 2016:14–16):
The song is transcribed as follows.
Huziwara (2016:15–16) analyzes the song as follows.
Altogether, the nouns, verbs, and prefixes elicited from Huziwara's (2016) Taman informant are: