A language of Bangladesh

Alternate Names

L1 users: 16,000 (2003 SIL). 4,000 monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 41,900.


Sylhet division: Moulvi Bazar district, Alinagar, Barlekha, Fenchuganj area, Fultala, Goalbari, Islampur, Kamalganj, Khajori, Madhabkunda, Rashidpur, and Satgoan; Sylhet district, Jaflong area, Jaintiapur, north of Raipur, and Tamabil.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


War-Jaintia, War-Khasi. Lexical similarity: 86%–92% with dialects in Bangladesh; 83%–89% with War-Jaintia in India and Bangladesh; India variety 41%–45% with Pnar [pbv] (from scant data); 27%–35% with standard Khasi [kha]; 24%–28% with War dialect of Khasi.


SVO; prepositions; articles before noun heads; CV, CVC, CVV, V, VCV, CCV, CCVC; nontonal.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, village. All ages. Also use Bengali [ben], English [eng], Khasi [kha], Sylheti [syl]. Used as L2 by Bengali [ben], Pnar [pbv].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 40% in Bengali [ben]; many are literate in standard Khasi [kha]. Using Latin script for War-Jaintia produces some pronunciation problems but eases transition into Khasi. Taught in primary schools. Grammar.

Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Learning standard Khasi [kha] is important due to affinity with the larger Khasi ethnic group. Standard Khasi has high prestige. Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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