Journal article Open Access

Assamese

Mahanta, Shakuntala


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    "description": "eastern districts of Assam. Assam is a north-eastern state of India, therefore Assamese\nand creoles of Assamese like Nagamese are spoken in the different north-eastern states\nof Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and also the neighbouring country of\nBhutan. Approximately 15 million people speak Assamese in India (see Ethnologue,\nGordon 2005, which lists 15,374,000 speakers including those in Bhutan and\nBangladesh). In the pre-British era (until 1826), the kingdom of Assam was ruled by\nAhom kings and the then capital was based in the eastern district of Sibsagar and later\nin Jorhat. The American missionaries established the first printing press in Sibsagar and\nin the year 1846 published a monthly periodical 'Arunodoi' using the variety spoken in\nand around Sibsagar as the point of departure. This is the immediate reason which led\nto the acceptance of the formal variety spoken in eastern Assam, (which roughly\ncomprises of all the districts of Upper Assam). Having said that, the language spoken in\nthese regions of Assam also show a certain degree of variation from the written form of\nthe 'standard' language. As against the relative homogeneity of the variety spoken in\neastern Assam, variation is considerable in certain other districts which would\nconstitute the western part of Assam, comprising of the district of Kamrup upto\nGoalpara and Dhubri (see also Kakati 1962 and Grierson 1968). In contemporary\nAssam, for the purposes of mass media and communication, a certain neutral blend of\neastern Assamese, without too many distinctive regional features, like // deletion,\nwhich is a robust phenomenon in the eastern varieties, is still considered to be the norm.\nThe lexis of Assamese is mainly Indo-Aryan, but it also has a sizeable amount of\nlexical items related to Bodo among other Tibeto-Burman languages (Kakati 1962), and\nthere are a substantial number of items borrowed from Hindi, English and Bengali in\nrecent times.", 
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