Tani Languages

Authored by: Jackson T.-S. Sun

The Sino-Tibetan Languages

Print publication date:  December  2002
Online publication date:  May  2006

Print ISBN: 9780700711291
eBook ISBN: 9780203221051
Adobe ISBN: 9781135797188


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Tani refers to a compact cluster of Tibeto-Burman languages situated at the eastern end of the Himalayas, in an area skirted on four sides by Tibet, Assam, Bhutan, and Burma. The Tani languages are spoken by about 600,000 indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh and northern Assam, including the Adi (many subtribes), Nishi(ng)-Bengni, Hill Miri, Tagin, and Apatani tribes of East Kameng, Lower Subansiri, Upper Subansiri, West Siang, East Siang, and Dibang Valley districts of Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the Mising people of Assam. In Arunachal Pradesh alone the Tani-speaking area covers some 40,000 square kilometres, or roughly half the size of the state (Simon 1978: 8). Scattered Tani communities spill over the Sino-Indian border into adjacent areas in Motuo (Miguba and Misinba tribes), Milin (Bokar and Tagin tribes), and Longzi (Bengni, Na, Bayi, Dazu, and Mara tribes) counties of Tibet (Ouyang 1985: 76), where they are lumped with certain linguistically non-Tani peoples (e.g. the Idu, Sulung, and Bangru) to form the Luoba nationality.

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