Explained: The language of the Tangams, with just 253 speakers

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News: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister has released a book titled Tangams: An Ethnolinguistic Study Of The Critically Endangered Group of Arunachal Pradesh.

Facts:

  • Tangam community: They are lesser-known ethnolinguistic groups within the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.They are concentrated in only one village (Kugging) with only 253 reported speakers.
  • Tangam Language: As per the UNESCO World Atlas of Endangered Languages, Tangam — an oral language that belongs to the Tani group under the greater Tibeto-Burman language family is marked ‘critically endangered’.

Note: 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.

Additional Facts:

  • UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger: It is a tool to monitor the status of endangered languages and the trends in linguistic diversity at the global level.
  • The UNESCO has categorized languages on basis of endangerment as follows: