Digaro languages

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Northern Mishmi
Arunachal Pradesh
Linguistic classificationpossibly Sino-Tibetan or an independent family

The Digaro (Digarish) or Northern Mishmi (Mishmic) languages are a small family of possibly Sino-Tibetan languages spoken by the Mishmi people of southeastern Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh.

The languages are Idu and Taraon (Digaro, Darang).

External relationships[edit]

They are not related to the Southern Mishmi Midzu languages, apart from possibly being Sino-Tibetan. However, Blench and Post (2011) suggests that they may not even be Sino-Tibetan, but rather an independent language family of their own.

Blench (2014) classifies the Digaro languages as part of the Greater Siangic group of languages.


Autonyms and exonyms for Digaro-speaking peoples, as well as Miju (Kaman), are given below (Jiang, et al. 2013:2-3).

Names of Mishmi peoples
Taraon name Kaman name Idu name Assamese name
Taraon people da31 raŋ53 tɕi31 moŋ35 tɑ31 rɑŋ35 Digaru;
Digaru Mishmi
Kaman people tɕɑu53 kɯ31 mɑn35 mi31 tɕu55 Midzu
Idu people dju55;
dju55 ta31 rɑŋ53;
min31 dɑu55;
i53 du55 Chulikata Mishmi
Zha people 扎人 tɕɑ31 kʰen55 tɕɑ31 kreŋ35
Tibetan people lɑ31 mɑ55;
mei53 bom55
dɯ31 luŋ35;
hɑi35 hɯl55
ɑ31 mi53;
mi31 si55 pu53


Idu, Tawra, Kman, and Meyor all share a system of multiple language registers, which are (Blench 2016):[2]

  1. ordinary speech
  2. speech of hunters: lexical substitution, the replacement of animal names and others by special lexical forms, and sometimes short poems
  3. speech of priests/shamans: more complex, involving much language which is difficult to understand, and also lengthy descriptions of sacrificial animals
  4. poetic/lyrical register (not in Idu, but appears in Kman)
  5. mediation register (only in Idu?)
  6. babytalk register


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Digarish". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ https://www.academia.edu/20110685/Mishmi_language_development