Published February 20, 2020
This video was recorded by Hardeep Singh in Bokaro, Jharkhand, India. Assamese is the easternmost Indo-European language, native to the Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland states of India. Assamese is primarily spoken in Assam, and it is the state’s official language. According to a census taken in 2011, there are over 15,000,000 Assamese speakers in India. Assamese has a number of sister languages, including Angika, Bengali, and Bishnupriya Manipuri. Historically, Assamese is believed to have stemmed from Old Indo-Aryan dialects, specifically the Kamarupi dialect, from Magadhi Prakrit, as did several other Indo-Aryan languages before 7th century CE. Among the first forms of Assamese literature found in the Charyapada Buddhist verses, features of Assamese were used with other Indian languages. Of the dialects, the Eastern dialect was the standard due to its frequent literary usage in the nineteenth century. However, since then the standard has developed to obtain more western dialectal features. Assamese is one of the few Indian languages which employ vowel harmony, and it is recognized as a language with a large classifier inventory, which stems from the Sino-Tibetan languages and distinguishes between gender, respect, animacy, and other characteristics. Assamese uses the Assamese script with typographic ligatures, and is written from left to right.