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ABILAC Assam to come up with Bishnupriya Manipuri Dictionary


Guwahati, Jan. 6: The collective dream of linguists of various indigenous communities of Assam is about to come true.

Anundoram Borooah Institute of Language, Art and Culture, Assam — a research institution set up by the state government — is all set to publish dictionaries in languages of different indigenous communities of the state.

The institute has selected languages of six prominent indigenous communities of the state for the exercise in a bid to enrich their language and literature. The selected languages are Bodo, Karbi, Mising, Dimasa, Tiwa and Rabha.

To publish the dictionaries, the institution has taken help of the sahitya sabhas (literary bodies) of these linguistic communities. Accordingly, the sabhas have selected the right persons to compile words for the dictionaries.

“The dictionary in Rabha language will be published shortly. We have completed almost 90 per cent work,” said Dilip Kumar Kalita, director of the institute. He said that the Rabha Sahitya Sabha has helped them to compile the dictionary.

As a part of the project, the institute had already published Mising Gompir Kumsung — a dictionary of Mising language — in April this year. The 687-page dictionary, edited by scholar Tabu Taid, has covered almost all the words available in Mising language.

Kalita said that all these dictionaries would be in three languages.

For convenience of readers, the meaning of each word has also been given in Assamese and English.

Kalita added that considering the concentration of the Bishnupriya Manipuri population in the state, the institute would also publish a similar tri-lingual dictionary in Bishnupriya Manipuri language.

“The progress on the dictionary of Bishnupriya Manipuri language is not much. But we will publish it as soon as possible,” Kalita added.

The institute, set up in 1989 in North Guwahati, has so far published 46 books on different languages, literature and culture of the state.

Some of the books published by the institute are The Rabhas, The Hill Lalungs, Aspects of North East Languages, Folkloric Foragings in India’s Northeast and The Verbals of Assamese and Bengali.

Besides, they have also translated some world classics in Assamese.

Kalita said around 40 per cent works have been completed for the dictionaries on Karbi, Bodo and Dimasa languages.

“We have got full support from each of these indigenous communities. They are very happy to know that we are going to publish a dictionary in their languages,” Kalita said. He added that although some of the languages of the indigenous communities have their own dictionaries, they are not as voluminous as the proposed dictionaries of the institute.

Moreover, the institute will publish another monolingual dictionary in Assamese. Kalita said that the dictionary would include all words found in all Assamese dictionaries published till today. “Besides, an additional 40,000 words, which are not found in other dictionaries, will be included,” Kalita said. He added that all Assamese words that have been coined till 1995 would get a place in the dictionary.

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