Name of the Language:                                                                            

TANGKHULS

The Tangkhuls are agriculturalist by profession. It is important to note that they are Nagas racially and they identify their racial relations with the Nagas of Nagaland.Quite a few families are engaged in Piggery and this mode of farming is one of their main sources of income.

Geographical Location

The Tangkhuls inhibits the hills to the Northeast of the Manipur valley. Tangkhul is said to have several dialects so different from one another that they might better be called separate languages.The Ukrul dialect serves as the medium of communication among the Tangkhuls and it is called the Thangkhul language. The whole of the eastern district is concentrated only by the Tangkhuls.

Number of Speakers

 

Phonemic Inventory

 

Grammatical Categories

PREFIXES: The prefix ka (also pronounced kha) is used before adjectives and is also used to form verbal nouns. The prefix a# or u# does not seem to be so common as in Sopvoma.

ARTICLES: The indefinite article is a#ka which follows the noun it qualifies as in mi a#ka-na, a certain man (had two sons). As a matter of fact there is no definite article. It’s place is supplied by the demonstrative pronoun chi, that, as in a#gato chi-na, the younger brother (said).

NOUNS: Gender----- The usual rule is followed for human relations: Thus-----

a#-va, father (or his father). a#-va#, mother (or his mother).

a#-gato, brother (or his brother). a#-gatuiva, sister (or his sister).

maya#rmo, man shano, woman.

noshino, child

noshino maya#rno, son. noshino ngala#va, daughter.

In the case of male and female animals, it is indicated as follows:

sigui, horse sigu a#la#, mare.

simuk a#va#, bull simuk a#lA#, cow.

f8a, dog f8a a#lA#, a bitch.

me-va#, he-goat me a#la#, nanny goat.

sa#nga#i a#va#, male deer sa#nga#i a#la, female deer.

har-va#, cock har-va, hen.

NUMBER: is only indicated when the context renders it necessary. It is seen that biN is used with human beings. Thus, a#va#-biN, fathers. ta#ra#ka, many, and sa#ikora, all are used to indicate plurality of the lower animals and of inanimate things. Thus sigui a#la# ta#ra#ka, mares; silui sa#ikora homlu, look after (all) the buffaloes.

CASE: Herein the Nominative optionally takes the suffix na. It is always seen that it does so before transitive verbs. Thus mi a#ka-na, a certain man (had two sons); a:no maya#ra kharana chi-na lui-li laisa#i, the elder son was in the field.

The Accusative usually has no termination, but sometimes takes the Dative termination li, as in a#-wui no-maya#ra-li ( I have beaten) his son.

The Instrumental has the usual suffix na#, as in kitha#i-na thi-kijur-a (I) am nearly dying of hunger.

The Dative takes li, as in a#va#-li (said) to his father; lui-li (sent him) to the field.

The Ablative appends aina to the genitive, as in rakhong-wui-aina, (draw water) from the well.

The Genitive takes wui, as in----

nasha#-va#-wui shim-li

your-father-of house-in, : in your father’s house.

The Locative, like the Dative, has li, as in shim-li, in the house.

ADJECTIVES: These adjectives usually follow the noun they qualify, and do not change for gender. The adjectival prefix is ka or kha.

Examples:mi ka-pha# aka-na, a good man.

mi ka-pha#-bing-wui, of good men.

shano ka-pha#-bing, a good women.

noshino maya#rno ma-ka pha# a#ka-na, a bad (not good) son.

sigui ka-chara chi-wui, of the white horse.

shim ka-teo chi-li, in that small house.

kha-nang, wretched.

But it may be mentioned here that when an adjective is inflicted for comparison, or is treated as a verb, verbal noun, or adjective, the prefix ka is dropped. The following are the examples of comparison:

ka-pha# good.

pha#-ka-mai better.

pha#-mai-kapa best.

sa#ikora-wui pha#-mata#iya the best (garment) of all.

ka-chui high.

chui-ka-mai higher.

chui-mai-kapa highest.

PRONOUNS: The Personal Pronouns are:

i, I i-ihum, we.

na, thou na,na-thum, ye.

a#, he a#-thum, them.

The only irregularity is that, besides the regular genitives, i-wui,na-wui, a#-wui, and others, the termination wui may be dropped, as in

na-ming, your name; a#-va#, his father.

The Demonstrative pronouns are hi, this, as in sigui hi, this horse; and chi, that, as in lupa chi, those rupees. The Interrogative Pronouns are kapa#ka la or khipa#kala, who? khi, what? khi sa#ta# or khi-sa#kala, why?.

VERBS: When a verbal root ends in a vowel, it often inserts a euphonie w or y before the termination. Thus sho-w-a, strikes or struck; tho-nga#i-y-a, craved. For the Verb Substantive, the root is lai, be or possess; but for the present, it is usual to simply add the suffix na to the object or subject. Thus sa#ikora-na-wuina, all is yours; i-na, I am. The past is lai-sai, which is translated both ‘possessed’ and ‘was’. Thus mi a#ka-na laisa#i, a certain man possessed (two sons) (i.e. to a certain man there were two sons): a#-no-maya#ra kharara chi-na lui-lilai-sa#i, the elder son was in the field. The root sa#, which properly means ‘do’, is also used as a verb substantive.

In this language there is no distinction between Present and past time, the same being left to be discovered from the context. The only real distinction is between Future and Non Future time.

Present: Suffix --a, as in sho-w-a, beats; thi-kijur-a, am nearly dying; pam-a, dwells; chat-a, goes. When the root ends in the vowel a# or a8, i is substituted for a as in sa#-i, did.

The present participle is sometimes used for this tense, as in ha#ng-da, (they) say (what they have heard from their forefathers

Present Definite: The suffix li is added to the root, or the suffix lai-li (the present definite tense of the verb substantive) is added to the present participle. Thus, sho-li or sho-da lai-li, is striking; kha#ng-mi-za#-da lai-li, is giving to eat; chat-li or chat-ta lai-li, is going; sa#-li or sa-da lai-li, is doing.

Imperfect: The suffix sa#i is added to the root or lai-sa#i (the imperfect tense of the verb substantive) is added to the present participle. Thus sho-sa#i or sho-da lai-sai was striking, chat-sa#i or chat-ta lai-sa#i was going; sa#-sa#i or sa#-da lai-sa#i was doing. sa#i itself is the present or past of the root sa#, do.

Past: As in present, the suffix is a after consonants, and i after the vowels a# or a. Thus sho-w-a, struck; chat-a, went; ha#ng-a, said; tho nga#i-y-a, craved; mashi-tu-w-a, joined; chat-tu-w-a, went; maya-i, kissed.

Perfect: In this matter the suffixes are ha#i, ha#ira, howa or hora. thus chit-ha#i, chat-ha#ira, chat-howa or chat-hora, has gone; sa#-ha#i, sa-ha#ira, sa#-howa, sa#-hora, has done. Similarly, chi-ho-hai, sent (him to the field); ka#nsar-howa, spent; sala#k-howa, became dear; khanang-howa, became wretched; ngaphit-howa, have beaten. It will be observed in many cases that these forms have the power of the simple past.

Pluperfect: The suffix is ha#ira-sai. Thus sho-ha#ira-sa#i, had struck; chat-ha#ira-sa#i, had gone; sa#-ha#ira-sa#i, had done.

Future: The future tense takes two suffixes. It takes ra to form a distant future, and ga to form an immediate future. After a hard consonant; ga becomes ka.Thus sho-ra or sho-ga will strike; sa#-ra or sa#-ga, will do or will be; chat-ra or chat-ka, will go; ung-ha#ng-ga returning (I) shall say; sho-that-ka (I) shall kill.

Continuative Future: This is formed by suffixing the future of the verb sa# to the root, as in chat sa#-ra, shall be going; sa# sa#-ra, shall be doing.

Future Perfect: This is formed by suffixing sa#-ra to the perfect, as in chat-ha#ira sa#-ra, shall have gone; sa#-ha#ira sa#-ra, shall have done.

Present Subjunctive: The forms given are sa#-pa#i, may be or do; sho-pa#i, may strike.

Imperative: The suffix is lu, as in sho-lu, strike; chat-lu, go; mi-ho-lu, give (this rupee); sa#-ngasak-mi-lu, cause me to be (thy servant); kui-tu-lu, take (those rupees); sok-kui-lu, draw (water). The syllable ka or kha prefixed makes a polite imperative.

Verbal Noun or Infinitives------- Formed by the prefix ka or kha, as in ka-sho, to strike; ka chat,to go ; ka-sa#, to do or to be; ka-shak ka-za#, food; ka-maya, kissing; kha-ra, to come.

Present Participle: The suffix is da, or it is seen that after a hard consonant, the suffix is ta. Thus, sho-da, striking; za#-nga#i-da, wishing to eat; angkar-thui-da, rising; thai-da, seeing; chat-ta, going.

Past Participle: The suffix is ha#i-ra-da,as in sa#-ha#irada, having been or done.

Adverbial Participle: The example for adverbial participle is as follows:

ka#n-ka#hai-aina, on being spent.

Casual Verbs: These are formed by suffixing ngasak, as in chat-ngasak, caused to do. The verb mi, give, is also used in this connection, as in sa#-ngasak-mi-lu, cause to be.

As in other cognate languages, there is no passive. ‘I am struck’ is rendered ‘struck me’, i-li sho-sai.

Negative Verb: The negative participle is ma, as in ma-ka-pha#, not good, bad. The only example of a negative participle is ma-ra#la#karanu, let him not come here.

Interrogative: The Interrogative participle kala is placed at the end of the sentence, as in chi ka-li lola-kala, from whom did you buy that?

Compound Verbs: There are numerous compound verbs. The following are Desiderative: za#-nga#i-da, wishing to eat ; ma-ka#-nga#i, did not wish to go.

TONES: There are three tones in the Thangkhul language. They are rising, falling and the level tone. It may be mentioned here that tones are suprasegmental features. The tonal differences in a particular language are studied by the pitch differences found in it. The variation of the tension that is maintained in the vocal cords causes the pitch differences while producing the sounds of the language.

References