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Assamese Manuscript with
illuminated painting

With a majority of the total population using the tongue, Assamese is the major language of the State. Besides English, Assamese was accorded the status of the official language of the Brahmaputra Valley by the Official Language Act of 1960. However, Bengali and English were also simultaneously accorded the status of official language for the Barak Valley and the two Hill Districts by the same Act.The earliest specimen of the Assamese script is to be found in copper plates and inscriptions discovered in different parts of the region.

Scholars opine that the origin of Assamese goes back to the Magadhan-Prakrit script. By all standards it is a composite language into which words of Indo-Aryan and Indo-Chinese origins have made their way. Pre-Aryan ans non-Aryan influences are also discernible not only in loan words but also in its grammar, syntax and pronunciation.

Speeches of the Tibeto-Burman, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Chinese families abound among the tribal population.The widest variety of language found in the tribal popluation can however be attributed to the Tibeto-Burman family. The Bodo language group with its Kachari, Lalung, Rabha, Moran and even Chutia variations, in turn dominate the Tibeto-Burman family.

Other recognized Indian languages spoken in the State include Bengali, Hindi and Oriya. Oriya, Mundari, Santhal, Tamil and Telegu are mostly spoken mostly by the tea garden labourers.






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