Do you know that over 400 languages from south-east Asia, South Asia and East Asia’s belong to Sino-Tibetan language family?
It is around 1.69 billion people in this region, who speak languages closely related with Sino-Tibetan language families (Formed with Burmese, Tibetan and of course different Chinese languages).
But, why I am telling you these things?
Because our today’s topic Karbi language is a significant part of it, therefore it is necessary to know for us about the main source of its origin.
You may know that Karbi’s are one of the most indigenous tribal communities of Assam including other north-eastern states of India.
In Assam, Karbi language is highly spoken in districts like Karbi-Anglong, Golaghat, Morigaon, Nogaon and Dima Hasao etc.
Do you know that over 4, 20,000 people live in the whole north-eastern region, who speaks in Karbi language?
Karbi language is also known by other two names, one is ‘Aleng’ and another is ‘Mikir’. Mikir term is very popular in Assam.
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Historical Aspects of Karbi Language
According to two great grammarians Shafer (1974) and Badly (1997), Karbi language was an aberrant of Kuki Chan Branch, because there are too many similarities have seen between these two forms.
Do you know that this language has been divided into two different parts within itself?
They are Dumurali and Kamrupi Karbi. These two types are classified based on different dialects; if you listen to these two types for once then you can easily classify, which is Dumurali and which is Kamrupi.
Before 20th century this language did not come into scriptural form. In the
very early of 20th century American missionaries first gave it the written form, which was in Latin.
It was in 1903 when missionaries started to publish a newspaper in Karbi language with the named by ‘Birta’. Birta form is still famous among Karbi people as a part of their linguistic history.
Nowadays this is scripted into two different linguistic forms, here one is Latin and another is Assamese.