Tani languages

Tani
Miric
Geographic
distribution:
Arunachal Pradesh
Linguistic classification: Sino-Tibetan
Subdivisions:
Padam
Nishi
Gallong

Tani, aka Miric, Adi–Galo–Mishing–Nishi (Bradley 1997), or Abor–Miri–Dafla (Matisoff) is a compact family of Tibeto-Burman languages situated at the eastern end of the Himalayas, in an area skirted on four sides by Tibet, Assam, Bhutan, and Burma.

The Tani languages are spoken by about 600,000 people of Arunachal Pradesh like the Adi (many tribes), Nyishi-Bangni, Hill Miri, Tagin, and Apatani peoples of East Kameng, Lower Subansiri, Upper Subansiri, West Siang, East Siang, and the Dibang Valley districts of Arunachal Pradesh. In Arunachal Pradesh alone the Tani-speaking area covers some 40,000 square kilometers, or roughly half the size of the state. Scattered Tani communities spill over the Sino-Indian border into adjacent areas in Mêdog (Miguba and Mising peoples), Mainling (Bokar and Tagin peoples), and Lhünzê (Bangni, Na, Bayi, Dazu, and Mara peoples) counties of Tibet, where together with the non-Tani Idu they form the Lhoba nationality.

Classification

The Tani languages are conservatively classified as a distinct branch in Tibeto-Burman. Their closest relatives may be to be their eastern neighbors the Digarish languages, Taraon and Idu.[citation needed] The names "Adi", "Abor", and "Miri" are common to several of the peoples and their languages.

According to a semi-ethnic classification (Van Driem 2001), the languages are as follows. It is not clear which are actually separate languages at this point, since some are undocumented. Ethnologue, for example, counts Milang, the Gallong languages, and all of the Padam languages apart from Mishing as dialects of "Adi", though they acknowledge that Bokar, Milang, Pailibo, and Ramo may be distinct languages, and have assigned a separate ISO code to Gallong, as it is sociolinguistically distinct.

  • Padam languages (Adi): Padam, Minyong, Mishing (aka Plains Miri, Takam), Shimong, Bori, Karko, Tangam, Pasi?, Panggi?, Ashing?
  • Nishi languages: Apatani (aka Apa, the most divergent), Nishi (aka E. Dafla, Nishing), Tagin (aka W. Dafla), Bangni, Nah, Hill Miri (aka Sarak)
  • Gallong languages: Gallong (aka Duba, Galo), Pailibo (aka Libo), Ramo, Bokar

Milang has traditionally been classified as a divergent Tani language, but in 2011 was reclassified as Siangic.

References

  • George van Driem (2001) Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region. Brill.



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