Languages of the NE->Deuri

Name of the Language:                                                                            

DEURI

The Deuri language is the easternmost member of  the Boro-Garo group of languages of the Tibeto Burman stock. The Deuri speech community could be broadly divide in four main groups, viz: Dibongia, Tenga pania, Patorgoyan and Borgoyan. Out of these four groups , only the Dibongias have retained the Deuri language and the rest of the groups have all shifted to Asamiya, which has become their first language over the years. It is worthwhile to mention here that the Dibongias are essential bilinguals with equal command over Asamiya as well.

Geographical Location

It is spoken mainly in the districts of  Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Jorhat, Tinsukia and in certain parts of  Sonitpur district.

Number of Speakers

The population as recorded in the 1991 census is 15,955.

 

Phonemic Inventory

 

Bilabial

Alveolar

Palatal

Velar

Glottal

Stop

p

b

t

d

c

j

k

g

 

 

Nasal

 

m

 

n

 

n)

 

N

 

 

Fricative

 

 

s

z

 

 

x

 

h

 

Affricate(Aspirated)

 

 

 

 

 

tS

 

 

 

 

Roll

 

 

 

r

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lateral

 

 

 

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

Semi Vowel

 

w

 

 

 

y

 

 

 

 

 

 

    B. Vowel Phonemes:

 

 

Front

Central

Back

High

i

i)

 

 

u

u)

Mid

e

e)

 

 

o

o)

Low

 

 

a

a)



)

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are three tones in the Deuri language which are phonemic

The High tone is marked as-

/  &/

The Level tone is unmarked-

 

The Low tone is marked as-    

/  $/

 

Grammatical Categories

The Deuri language follows the Subject +Object+Verb pattern in the formation of sentences in the language.

Tenses :There are three tenses in the language. They are – Present, past and Future. The present tense itself has two forms: one is habitual present and the other is immediate present. In every tense there is a continuous form. There are also two perfect tenses, the present perfect and the past perfect. Hence the tenses are : Present  (a) habitual and Immediate, Past, Future, Present Perfect and past perfect.

Gender:  There are two genders in the language. Masculine and Feminine.

Number : There are two numbers in  the Deuri language.    kani  laju  and   siga   are the plural morphemes. Out of which  siga is used only  after humans and   laju is honorific than kani. It is observed that there is free variation among these plural morphemes , as in gira  (old man) is realized as plural by attaching either  kani or laju and ciga to get the plural form.

Negation:  The negative marker operational in the language is a). I t is attached after the inflected verb forms to denote negation.

Classifiers: The use of classifiers is another striking feature of the Deuri language. It is normally used with different types of nouns. Some examples of classifiers are ti used after nouns denoting solid objects , such as in gui ti areca nut +classifier. ha used after leafy light objects, such as pemsu ha (betel leaf +classifier).muti is used after bundle of objects as in mi + classifier. guza is used with slender long objects as in gutsi +classifier.The combination noun + classifier + numeral in constructing phrases is also interesting to observe.

References