Languages of the NE -> Sangtam

Name of the Language                                                                              


Sangtam is one of the important tribes of Nagaland. which is also a major tribe in the multilingual Tuensang district. It is believed by some in the tribe that they have come to their present place following migration from  Burma.

The Sangtams are also mainly practitioners of jhuming and shifting cultivation. In keeping with their importance of agriculture, several festivals are celebrated to mark sowing, transplanting, harvesting and others.

As with other languages, Sangtam also exhibits some variation from one region to another. For pedagogical purposes the Longkhim variety is considered standard Sangtam.

Presently, Sangtam is taught and used as a medium up to classIV in all government schools. From 1965 onwards the Directorate of Education has been publishing textbooks in Sangtam.


Geographical Location

Tuensang district.

Number of Speakers

As per the 1991 census their population stands at 47,461 speakers.

Phonemic Inventory


Grammatical Categories

In the Sangtam language the presence of Tones, which is not overtly marked, is considered problematic. Attempts however have been made to differentiate through other conventions. For example, very  often , the low tones and the voiced stops go together, whereas the voiceless stops and high tones go together. Hence  the consonantal difference often signal difference as well.



  Tsakise:  Language Education in Nagaland: Sociolinguistic Dimensions.