A new language with very few speakers is discovered in India

Posted by David Khoirul

Koro a new language in indiaIn India, a new language called Koro, with only 800 to 1200 speakers, was discovered. The language is unwritten.

A team of linguists announced that they have discovered a new and unique language, called Koro, in northeastern India, but immediately warned that it was highly endangered.

Only around 800 people are believed to speak the Tibeto-Burman language, and few of them are under the age of 20, according to the researchers who discovered Koro during an expedition as part of National Geographic"s "Enduring Voices" project.

The team observed the root of the language and found it very different from the language spoken nearby. Koro, which was discovered when the research team went to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in 2008, brings the number of known languages worldwide up to 6,909.

The team was led by Gregory Anderson, who directs the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in Salem, Ore., and K. David Harrison, an associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. They videotaped speakers telling stories and talking, and made extensive word lists using the English alphabet to help classify the language.

Koro is very distinct from other languages spoken nearby, and the researchers hypothesize it may have originated from a group of people enslaved and brought to the area, though more research is needed.


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