Kameng Region, Arunachal Pradesh

Hruso (Aka) Language 

Hruso consultant Sange 'Chopel' Nimasow Photo by David Harrison/Chris Rainier
Hruso consultant Sange ‘Chopel’ Nimasow
Photo by David Harrison/Chris Rainier

Hruso [hru], also known as Aka or Hruso Aka, is an unclassified language of the Tibeto-Burman phylum spoken primarily in West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. The language shows certain affinities with Miji, as well as the poorly known Bangru or Levai, together with which it might form a subgroup within Tibeto-Burman, constituting the Hrusish family.

The Hruso Aka language has an unusual phonological structure with many initial consonant clusters or complex onsets, but mainly open syllables. To some degree tone appears to be relevant to the structure of Hruso Aka, but virtually all details of the grammar and phonology require more study before definitive statements can be offered.

The morphological structure of Hruso Aka appears to be relatively simple, but it is possible that a more thorough investigation will reveal further complexities. The total number of speakers is between 4,000 and 6,000 most likely. Living Tongues Institute has worked with speakers of Hruso Aka since 2008, having made three visits to the community since that time. A brief sample is offered here (see audio playlist below), but more examples can be found in the Koro Aka documentation project page, where Hruso Aka (and Miji) data are offered in comparison with Koro Aka.

As a result of our surveys, we can report that while Hruso Aka remains vital in certain communities, it is undergoing shift to Hindi in others, and thus Hruso Aka must too be reckoned among the endangered languages of Arunachal Pradesh. Many Hruso Aka people have served as consultants in this documentation, but Khandu Degio deserves special mention for his contributions.

Hruso (Aka) Project Photos

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Hruso (Aka) Audio Files


Miji Language

Anil Sangchozu, primary Miji consultant Photo by David Harrison/Chris Rainier
Anil Sangchozu, primary Miji consultant
Photo by David Harrison/Chris Rainier

Miji, aka Sajalong or Dhammai/Nammai, is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken mainly in East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. Its exact classification remains an open question, but Miji shares more in common with Hruso Aka than other languages, and may constitute a genetic unit with this latter language.

In East Kameng and to a certain extent in West Kameng Districts, Miji [sjl] speakers intermarry with both Hruso Aka and Koro Aka people, but have maintained both a separate language and a separate tribal identity from the two Aka groups.

Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages has made a range of sample recordings of Miji lexical items and sentences for comparative purposes under the auspices of the Koro Aka Documentation project in our on-going work trying to unravel the mystery of the Aka languages. Our main Miji consultants are Lupa Sangcho, Babeli, and Anil Sangchozu.

 Miji Project Photos

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Miji Audio Files

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