Koch

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A language of India

Alternate Names
Koc, Kocch, Koce, Kocha, Kochboli, Konch
Population

30,000 in India (2007 survey), increasing. Almost no monolinguals. Includes only the Koch of Garo Hills, Meghalaya, India. Population total all countries: 36,000.

Location

Meghalaya, West Garo Hills district; Assam, Goalpara, Nagaon districts; Tripura; West Bengal; Bihar. Also in Bangladesh.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Harigaya, Margan (Dasgaya), Tintekiya, Wanang. Tintekiya in Meghalaya is intelligible with same dialect in Bangladesh; Tintekiya not intelligible with other Koch dialects; Koch-Rabha and Harigaya are mutually intelligible with Wanang; Dasgaya and Harigaya are mutually intelligible; these form a dialect chain (Koch-Rabha-Wanang-Harigaya-Dasgaya-Tintekiya). Lexical similarity: 90% between Tintekiya Koch of India and Bangladesh; Tintekiya: 44%–55% with other Koch dialects; Kock: 31%–39% with Rongdani Rabha [rah], 13%–17% with Garo [grt]. Lexical borrowing is heavier when it comes to high register vocabulary; Koch has borrowed words from Bangla [ben], Assamese [asm] and Hajong [haj].

Language Use

Vigorous. Non-Koch in Koch villages normally speak Koch. Only 6 of the 8 endogamous groups still speak their mother tongue: Tintekiya, Wanang, Harigaya, Dasgaya, Chapra, and Koch-Rabha. Sankar and Satpariya have no known speakers. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Bengali [ben], Assamese [asm], Garo [grt], English [eng], Hindi [hin], Hajong [haj], Rabha [rah], Bodo [brx] or Nepali [npi].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Approximately 75% in any of the following languages: Assamese [asm], Bangla [ben], Garo [grt], English [eng], Hindi [hin], Rabha [rah], or Bodo [brx]. Show a growing interest toward education (Singh 1994).
Writing
Bengali script.
Other Comments

A Scheduled Tribe in Meghalaya. Koch-Rabha belongs to Koch linguistically and ethnically but claims identity with the Rabha for political reasons. Traditional religion, Christian, Hindu.

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