- Recently, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh has released a book titled “Tangams: An Ethnolinguistic Study Of The Critically Endangered Group of Arunachal Pradesh”.
- The book has valuable data on endangered oral narratives like ritual songs, lamentation songs, lullabies and festival songs in Tangam language spoken by the Tangam community, which has reportedly 253 speakers left now.
Back to Basics
- It is a little-known community within the larger Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh which resides in the hamlet of Kugging in Upper Siang district’s Paindem circle.
- Tangam is an oral language that belongs to the Tani group,under the greater Tibeto-Burman language family.
- It has been marked ‘critically endangered’by the UNESCO World Atlas of Endangered Languages (2009).
- Another critically endangered language is Meyor but it is better off than Tangam because the community has a population of around 1,000 people.
- Kugging is surrounded by a number of villages inhabited by Adi subgroups such as Shimong, Minyongs, as well as the Buddhist tribal community of Khambas, among others.
- The languages of Arunachal Pradesh have been classified under the Sino-Tibetan language family and more specifically under the Tibeto-Burman and Tai group of languages, such as Lolo-Burmish, Bodhic, Sal, Tani, Mishmi, Hruissh and Tai.
- The education system introduced Devanagari, Assamese and Roman scripts for most tribal languages but new scripts such as Tani Lipi and Wancho Script have been developed by native scholars as well.
Source: Indian Express