Kho-Bwa languages

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Kho-Bwa
Kamengic
Bugunish
Geographic
distribution:
Arunachal Pradesh
Linguistic classification: possibly Sino-Tibetan
Glottolog: khob1235[1]

The Kho-Bwa languages, also known as Bugunish and Kamengic, are a small family of languages spoken in Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India. The name Kho-Bwa is due to Van Driem (2001). It is based on the reconstructed words *kho ("fire") and *bwa ("water"). Blench (2011) suggests the name Kamengic, from the Kameng area of Arunachal Pradesh, or alternatively Bugun–Mey, after its two main members.

Both Van Driem and Blench group the Bugun (or Khowa), the Mey (or Sherdukpen), and the Lishpa (or Lish) languages. The Puroik (or Sulung) language is included in the group by Van Driem but treated as a language isolate with no genetic relation to Kamengic by Blench.

These languages have traditionally been placed in the Tibeto-Burman group by the Linguistic Survey of India, but the justification of this is open to question.[citation needed] The languages have certainly been strongly influenced by the neighboring Sino-Tibetan languages, but this does not necessarily imply genetic unity and may possibly be a purely areal effect.[2]

The entire language family has about 15,000 speakers (including Puroik) or about 10,000 speakers (excluding Puroik), according to estimates made during the 2000s.

Classification

The internal structure of the Kamengic group of languages is as follows.

  • Bugun (Khowa)
  • Mey–Sartang
    • Sherdukpen (Mey, Ngnok), divided into two varieties:
      • Shergaon
      • Rupa
    • Sartang (Bootpa, But Monpa, But Pa, Matchopa), 50%–60% lexical similarity with Mey.
  • Chug–Lish
    • Lishpa (Lish)
    • Chug (Chug Monpa, Chugpa, Monpa), close to Lish
  • (possibly Sulung (Puroik); affiliation doubtful)

Vocabulary

The following table of Kho-Bwa basic vocabulary items is from Blench (2015).[3]

Gloss Mey (Shergaon) Mey (Rupa) Sartang (Jergaon) Sartang (Rahung) Lish (Khispi) Chug (Duhumbi)
One hǎn han hèn hân hin hin
Two ɲǐt ɲik nìk ɲes niʃ
Three ùŋ ùŋ ùún ʔum om
Four pʰʃì bsi psì pʰəhi psi
Five kʰù kʰu kʰù kʰu kʰa kʰa
Six ʧùk kit ʧìk ʨěy ʧʰuʔ ʧyk
Seven ʃìt sit sìk sǐ, sě ʃis his
Eight sàʤát sarʤat sàrgè sàrʤɛ́ saɾgeʔ saɾgeʔ
Nine tʰkʰí dʰikʰi tʰkʰì tɛ̀kʰɯ́ ṱʰikʰu ṱʰikʰu
Ten sɔ̀ ̃ sã̀ ʃan ʃan
Head kʰruk kʰruk kʰrǔk kʰruʔ kʰoloʔ kʰloʔ
Nose nupʰuŋ nəfuŋ nfùŋ apʰuŋ hempoŋ heŋpʰoŋ
Eye khibi kivi kábì kʰaʔby kʰumu kʰum
Ear kʰtùŋ gtʰiŋ gtʰìŋ ktèíŋ kʰutʰuŋ kʰutʰuŋ
Tongue laphõ lapon ? le loi loi
Tooth nuthuŋ tokʧe mísìŋ nitʰiŋ ʃiŋtuŋ hintuŋ
Arm ik ik ìk ik hu hut
Leg lapon lɛ̌ lɛ̌ lei lai
Belly ʃrìŋ sliŋ srìŋ sriŋ hiɲiŋ hiliŋ
Bone skìk skik àhík skik ʃukuʃ ʃukuʃ
Blood ha(a) hɛ̀ ha hoi hoi
Face dòŋpù bo mi zə̀í doʔ doŋpa
Tooth ntùŋ tokʧe mísìŋ ptə̀íŋ ʃiŋtuŋ hintuŋ
Stomach àlà karbu ʧàk phriŋ hiɲiŋ hiliŋ
Mouth ʧàw nəʧaw so ʨʨǒ hoʧok kʰoʧu
Rain ʧuuma nimi nʧʰù ʧuʧuba namu namu

References

  1. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kho-Bwa". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Blench (2011): "Certainly, the phonology and morphology of Arunachali languages looks superficially like Tibeto-Burman, which explains their placing in the Linguistic Survey of India. Unfortunately, this is rather where matters have remained [... this paper] proposes we should take seriously the underlying presumption probably implied in Konow's statement in Linguistic Survey of India. Volume III, 1, Tibeto-Burman family, Calcutta (1909:572)], that these languages may not be Sino-Tibetan but simply have been influenced by it; that they are language isolates."
  3. Blench, Roger. 2015. The Mey languages and their classification. Presentation given at the University of Sydney.