Mishmi-English-Hindi Dictionary (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAX404
Author: Garimella Devi Prasad Sastry
Publisher: Central Institute Of Indian Languages, Mysore
Language: Mishmi, English and Hindi
Edition: 1991
Pages: 90
Other Details 7.00 X 5.00 inch
Weight 110 gm
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Book Description

The Central Institute of Indian Languages, as an obligation under Article 350A of the Constitution of India, undertakes to study tribal languages in all their psycho-social relations and aid in their development and use in education and mass comm unication. The Institute produces a package of materials in each tribal language comprising a grammar, a dictionary, a volume on folklore, and literacy materials for adults and school children.

Tribal development is often vitiated due to presupposition. It is sometimes taken for granted that tribals are in the peri phery of Indian society and outside the Indian psyche. It is also assumed that they need protection and that they must be integrated into the Indian mainsfream. But tribal people have their culture and their language. They have to develop firmly rooted to their own culture and language, with education and enlightenment, to join the Indian mainstream. Any develop- ment, therefore, has to be through their culture and language only. Tribal languages are as complex and as complete as any of the major languages of India and neither.are they ‘dialects . The 19th century use of the term ‘culture of silence has no relevance in today’s context. Any tribal language is capable of expressing all the nuances of any aspect of present day society, given the necessary impetus and opportunity to do so. It is hoped that the work done by the Institute helps towards achieving this goal.

The Mishmi-English-Hindi Dictionary is the latest in our dictionary series. Mishmi is spoken in the two districts of Lohit and Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. The popu- lation is 22, 561 according to Census 1971.

Making a dictionary is a multi-disciplinary activity, from the data collection inthe field, collation and analysis of the materials, to the preparation of entries for the dictionary. The dictionary contains around 3000 entries. I record my deep appreciation and congratulate the officers of the Institute in the difficult task that they have undertaken and successfully executed.


The Dictionary is based on the data collected from the Taraon (Digaru) dialect of Mishmi in two field trips during the winters of 1975 and 76, mainly in Tezu and Tafragam. The informants were Bramting So Tayang and Bimla Chai. The data on the Miju and the Idu dialects for the purposes of cross-checking and verification were provided by Lachab So Krong and Dici Mihu. An informant profile is given below.

Bramting So Tayang: He is the Cultural and Social Organiser for the Arunachal Administration atthe Tafragam- Korliang Agricultural Project. He studied up to high school and knows, besides his mother tongue, Assamese, English and Hindi.

Bimla Chai: A high school drop-out housewife from the Hayuliang area, she knows Assamese besides her mother tongue.

The data were gathered through elicitation using word and sentence lists as well as from connected texts and folk material.

Mishmi is spoken in the Lohit and the Dibang valley districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The population ts 22,561 (Census 1971). The other major language spoken in this district is Khamti, a Tai-Chinese language, with a well-developed written and ‘literary tradition. Mishmi comprises three major dialects: Taraon and Miju spoken in the Lohit valley and Idu spoken in the Dibang valley.

Mishmi belongs to the ‘Tibeto-Burman’ family of languages. This family, considered by many to be a branch of a larger Sino-Tibetan family, is, in terms of number of langua ges, the largest of any spoken in South Asia. These languages cover a vast territory ranging from Jammu and Kashmir in the West to Assam, Indo-China and parts of China in the east. The groups speaking these languages are highly isolated. A compa rative analysis of data from even a fraction of these languages, some 300 in number, is extraordinarily difficult. The inaccessi bility of many of the groups speaking these languages makes it difficult to accept the comprehensiveness of the current classifi cation of these languages. These groups of languages, commonly referred to as the ‘Tibeto-Burman languages, do not constitute an autonomous group of languages. Rather, they constitute two of a total of six primary divisions of a ‘Sino-Tibetan’ family.

It is to be noted here that there is neither an autonomous ‘Tibeto-Burman’ nor a ‘Sino-Thai’ family, but rather, a single Sino-Tibetan family branching off into the six divisions*. Three of these divisions have representatives in India, viz Baric, Burmic and Bodic.

The Bodic division of Sino-Tibetan family is very complex. Shafer posits eleven sections of this division.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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