Languages of the NE->Aitonia

Aitonia

The Aitonias came to Assam from Mung Mau not very long ago.

It is said that there in the beginning only two hundred of them came to Assam .Out of these some settled on the south- west corner of the Sibsagar Distrist, and the others in the Naga Hills.

The Aiton language is almost pure Shan. The alphabet used in Aiton is almost entirely identical with Shan and different from that of Khamti. The Aiton alphabets are more or less similar with the other Tai languages of Assam. The vowels are classified in the Shan fashion.

As regards the consonants, it differs from Shan as well as Khamti. The consonant ‘w’is used more frequently in composition with other consonants. But when it is used singly only the vowel ‘a’ follows ‘w’.

In Khamti, Tairong and Nora, the word /hit/ or /het/,(to do)is always spelt hichor hech due to the influence of Burmese. In Burmese language a final ‘ch’is pronounced as ‘t’. The custom is carried still in Aitonia. The word chet, seven is written ‘chech’ and pit(a duck) is written pich in Aitonia.

The sound ‘a’ is represented the Aitonia alphabet, which is not represented in Khamti or Tairong.The Aitonia have the same number tones as those of Shan.

The plural is formed by suffixing ‘khau’. Some times ‘khau-sa’is used as in ‘po# khau-sa’(fathers).

The nominative sometimes takes the suffix ‘ko’. For instance-su#-ko ya#ng (you are).The Accusative case can take the dative preposition ha#ng, For Example- ha#ng0-kha# man tha#m-kwa#,( he asked a servant). The usual preposition of the dative is hang. Lai is also used for the ablative like many dative preposition in the Tai Language. The most usual prefix of the Ablative is ‘luk’.Ti, however, added to luk, as in u#-luk-ti na#n au,(take form him).The Genitive has no prefix or suffix, and as usual follows the word by which it is governed. To indicate any oblique case there are two suffixes. They are ka^n and se or sa. For instance:

Dative-luk-sau a#n-lu_ng ka^n, (to a daughter) luk-sau-man khau-sa, (to daughters).

Ablative-lai kun niko#-lu_ng khu_n ka^n, (from a father) lai kun ni# ko#-lu_ng khu_n ka^n (from a good man) .
kha# mau_
-se,( thy servant)

Genitive- luk-sau ko#-lu_ng ka^n, (of a daughter). kha# mau_-se, (thy servant).

Adjectives

The numeral lung,(one) can take the prefix an# or a8, the indefinite article is a#-lu_ng, like in Khamti.

The comparative degree formed by suffixing si#, to the

Adjective. Thus ni-si a-nai(better than this).In such a case me# or ma8 is usually added to the verb or is used by itself instead of a couple,si#being optionally omitted
For instance- ni#-si# a8-nai ma8-ya#ng,(is better than this).

The superlative is most simply formed by doubling the adjective. For instance-ni-ni, (very good).

Pronouns

The pronouns call for no remarks. In Aiton mau_, (thou) is pronounced, as in Shan mu&l.The demonstrative pronouns are a-nai, (this), a-na#n, (that).

Verb

The usual sign of the past tense is kwa#. For example-

Tha#m-kwa# (asked).
het-ka#-yau,(they did).
The future takes both ti and also ta8, a contraction of the tak.
For example-kau ta*= pin, (I shall be).mau_ ti po#,you will strike.

The participle suffix is si.
There are several negative words. For instance- pa#, not.
kau luk mau_ ta#n pin. ( I am not worthy to be thy son )
A more usual negative is mau, as on mau khau_-ka, (did not wish).
The Shan Assertive suffix ‘ho’ is common. For instance-u#-ho(am, on was).

References-
Linguistic Survey Of India
(G.A.Grierson Vol. II)
Tai Sanskriti
(Chau Puspa Gogoi).
(Bogen Bogen Gogoi).