North Eastern Institute of Language and Culture

Pitch and prominence in Aka (Hrusso): A study of tone-stress interaction

This study investigates the relationship between tone and stress in Aka (Hrusso) language, a threatened Tibeto-Burman language spoken by the eponymous indigenous community in Arunachal Pradesh, India. This paper is an exploration of the complex prosodic processes in the language, such as intricate lexical tone interactions, at least five instances of grammatical tone, and tone-stress interaction.

Researcher: Dr Vijay D’Souza | Status: Ongoing

Language vitality of Aka (Koro) language

This study aims to  understand the factors leading to language shift and abandonment of the Koro language. Specific goals include documenting the language’s use, examining intergenerational language transmission, and evaluating attitudes towards the language within the community following UNESCO’s (2003) assessment tool. The project involves fieldwork, including interviews and surveys with community members of different age groups to gather data on language usage patterns.

Researchers: Dr Vijay D’Souza and Dr Prarthana Acharyya | Status: Ongoing

Mother-tongue education in Maring

This research discusses various problems and challenges faced in implementing mother-tongue education in Maring. Comparing government and private schools situated in the Maring-speaking areas of Manipur, it explores the themes of language rights, language attitudes of the community and the role of the Government in mother tongue education.

Researcher: Dr Kanshouwa Susie | Status: Ongoing

Language documentation in North East India: Theory, practice, and challenges.

This study focuses on current trends and issues in language documentation in North East India from theoretical and methodological perspectives. It aims at taking stock of academic and community-based language documentation efforts and developing North East-specific methods and practices.

Researchers: Dr Vijay D’Souza and Dr ID Raguibou | Status: Ongoing

Visual thinking in language documentation

Much attention has been paid to the auditory data gathering in language documentation. However, an effective theory and practice of visual aesthetics in linguistic fieldwork is yet to be explored. This study aims to develop a visual approach to language documentation in order to make linguistic data more holistic and meaningful for the native speaker communities.

Researchers: Dr Vijay D’Souza and Gisel Erumachadathu | Status: Ongoing

Ecological themes in mythological narratives among the Aka (Hrusso)

Based on the ecological themes in the mythological narratives of the Aka (Hrusso) tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, this study discusses the relational worldview of the Aka people and explores the importance of preserving indigenous languages and cultures for the preservation of ecological knowledge.  

Researchers: Dr Vijay D’Souza and Anu Jebisow | Status: Ongoing

Sound system of Aka (Koro).

This project includes a detailed analysis of the phonological and phonetic characteristics of phonemes, tones, and syllable structure of Koro. Documenting the sound system of Koro is important for creating a linguistic record of the language and for supporting language preservation and revitalization efforts. By understanding the phonetic and phonological features of Koro, researchers can create teaching materials, pronunciation guides, and other resources to help community members and language learners maintain and revitalize the language

Researcher: Dr Prarthana Acharyya | Status: Ongoing

Phonology of Maring

This paper gives a preliminary sketch of the sound system of Maring, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in southeastern part of Manipur, India. It presents the phonemic inventories of the consonants, vowels, and tones. It also discusses the syllable structure including the phonotactics distribution and highlights some of the morphophonological processes occurring in the language.

Researcher: Dr  Kanshouwa Susie | Status: Ongoing

Bilingual education in North East India

This research focuses on developing context-specific bilingual education methodology for North East India. In the context of ever-increasing marginalisation of NE languages, this study aims to enhance educational outcomes through the mother tongue while at the same time not depriving access to dominant languages.

Researchers: Dr Vijay D’Souza, Gisel Erumachadathu, Bappu Deshmukh, Nabanita Deshmukh  | Status: Ongoing

Indigenous approaches to Nature: Insights at a time of planetary crisis

Indigenous languages and cultures often fall victim to oversimplified judgments: sometimes, they are excessively romanticized; at other times, they are dismissed as primitive and superstitious. However, a deeper inquiry reveals that indigenous peoples maintain a highly complex and nuanced understanding of the human-nature relationship. This research paper discusses indigenous peoples’ understanding of the natural world through the lens of mythological narratives and traditional practices, exploring its relevance to the world at large at a time of planetary crisis.

Researcher: Dr Vijay D’Souza  | Status: Ongoing

Phonological processes across Zeme, Liangmai, and Rongmei

The present paper will focus on the overview of the phonological processes in Zeme, Liangmai, and Rongmei and formulate phonological rules for the same. The study will also explore the historical and sociolinguistic factors that have influenced the phonological development of these three languages and will contribute to understanding the linguistic diversity within the Tibeto-Burman family.

Researcher: Dr ID Raguibou  | Status: Ongoing

Language revitalization efforts in Northeast India.

This research focuses on language revitalization efforts throughout North East India, from historical, theoretical, methodological, communitarian and practical perspectives.

Researcher: Dr Kanshouwa Susie  | Status: Ongoing

Developing culturally relevant art in linguistic work

North East India is well known for fascinating and diverse artforms. However, harnessing the power of art is still a neglected area in language revival efforts. This is a case study of how artwork created by community artists, based on community aesthetics can enhance the effectiveness of language revitalization.

Researchers: Dr Vijay D’Souza and Ajay Sagro  | Status: Ongoing

Language vitality survey of Aka (Hrusso)

The Hrusso language, also known as Aka, is spoken by a population of about 4000 speakers in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. Like Koro, it faces the risk of language shift and endangerment. This project aims to survey the current language vitality status of Hrusso and assess community perspectives on its future. The research outcomes can guide community-led efforts for language maintenance and revitalization.

Researchers: Dr Vijay D’Souza and Dr Prarthana Acharyya  | Status: Ongoing

Pre-nasalized phonemes in Zeme, Liangmai, and Rongmei

Zeme, Liangmai, and Rongmei are closely related languages of Northeast India, the Tibeto-Burman languages mainly spoken in Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland. The aim of this paper is to provide a brief description of pre-nasalized phonemes which are present in these three languages. Liangmai has eighteen pre-nasalized phonemes whereas Zeme and Rongmei have seventeen pre-nasalized phonemes each. 

Researcher: Dr ID Raguibou | Status: Ongoing