A “hidden” language spoken by only about 1,000 people has been discovered in the remote northeast corner of India by researchers who at first thought they were documenting a dialect of the Aka culture, a tribal community in the foothills of the Himalayas.
They found an entirely different vocabulary and linguistic structure. Even the speakers of the tongue, called Koro, did not realize they had a distinct language, linguist K. David Harrison said Tuesday.
Culturally, the Koro speakers are part of the Aka community in India’s Arunachal Pradesh state, and Harrison, associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, said both groups merely considered Koro a dialect of the Aka language.
But researchers studying the groups found they used different words for body parts, numbers and other concepts, establishing Koro as a separate language, Harrison said. More here
From The Times of India:
Say ” kaplaye” to a hidden language that’s emerged from remoteness of India’s famed diversity – the word means “hello” in Koro, a previously unknown language that linguists say they have identified and recorded in Arunachal Pradesh.
At a time of rapid globalization, when languages are dying at the rate of one every fortnight, Koro could be the latest addition to the 6909 known tongues recorded in Ethnologue, a journal that chronicles languages of the world. The hitherto unrecognized vernacular, initially mistaken for a dialect of a language called Aka because of the cultural similarities of its speakers, was identified during a 2008 expedition conducted as part of National Geographic’s Enduring Voices project.
In a conference call in Washington DC on Tuesday, researchers who stumbled on the latest hidden language said Koro, spoken by only 800-1200 people, could soon face extinction in the same way as Bo, the Andamanese language whose last speaker died earlier this year. More:
And in National Geographic