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Chang Language

J H Hutton (Author)
Synopsis The Chang tribe is one of those Naga tribes which occupy the hinterland, as it were, of Naga Hills district, stretching back to the high range, which divides Assam from Burma. As a tribe the Changes are of unknown origin. About eleven generations ago, according to their own recking, the present village of Tuensang, the fountain head of the tribe, was founded by elements coming from the south, from the Central Naga tribe kknown as Yimtsungr, in combination with Konyaks of the eastern Naga group from the defunct village of changsung, situated to the north-east of what is now Tuensang. The language of the Chang Nagas less hybrid than the blood, as the Konyak element seems to have predominated in speech in proportion as it has succumbed in culture. The Konyak element has prevailed in Chang speech is to be inferred from the absent of R, which is regularly used by the Yimtsung but which the Konyak group cannot pronounce at all. The rough outline of the grammar and the limited vocabulary that follow here were the results of the writer’s efforts to acquire the Chang language at Mokokchung between 1915 and 1917, and the author is fully conscious of their shortcomings, but hopes that this publication is justified by the fact that up to the present no other attempts have been made to learn the tongue or to give any account of it.
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About the author

J H Hutton

The language is a difficult one not only by reason of its tones but owing to the fact that the negative of the verb is formed by prefixing a single vowel, and that where the root already begins with a vowel, as it frequently does, the negative is merged inroot, often having merely the effect of a subtle difference in the length of the latter vowel which the writer, at any rate, has found extremely difficult to discriminate when listening to continuous speech. The record is therefore published for what it is worth in the hopes that it may serve temporarily to fill a gap in our knowledge of Tibeto-Burman languages and prove of use to officers who may have dealings with one of the more important Naga tribes.

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Bibliographic information

Title Chang Language
Author J H Hutton
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1987
Edition Revised ed.
Language: English
isbn 8121200733
length vii+120p., 23cm.