Khasi

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A language of India

Alternate Names
Kahasi, Kassi, Khasa, Khashi, Khasiyas, Khuchia
Autonym
Khasi
Population

L1 users: 843,000 (2001 census).

Location

Assam state: Cachar, Kamrup, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, and North Cachar Hills districts; Meghalaya state: Jaintia Hills, and East and West Khasi Hills districts; Manipur, Tripura, and West Bengal states.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Meghalaya State (1950, Constitution, Articles 345–347 inclusive), unscheduled language.

Dialects

Bhoi-Khasi, Khasi (Cherrapunji, Sohra), Khynrium, War. Bhoi Khasi in East Khasi Hills, Nongpoh block, and Nonglung in East Khasi Hills, Umksning block are very different from standard Khasi, with different word order. Many varieties have only partial mutual inherent intelligibility. War dialect is separate from War-Jaintia [aml]. Cherrapunji (Sohra) is the standard. Lexical similarity: 75% between War dialect and standard Khasi.

Typology

SVO.

Language Use

Government, courts, mass media in Meghalaya. Used as L2 by Biete [biu], Sakachep [sch], War-Jaintia [aml].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 63% in Meghalaya (2001 census). Taught in primary schools. Literature. Radio. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1891.
Writing

Bengali (Bangla) script [Beng], no longer in use. Latin script [Latn], used since about 1842.

Other Comments

A Scheduled Tribe. Christian, Hindu, Muslim.

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