Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > India > Bishnupriya


A language of India

ISO 639-3bpy

Population  75,000 in India (1997). Population total all countries: 115,000.
Region  Assam, Cachar, Hailakandi, Karimganj districts; Tripura, North. Also in Bangladesh, Myanmar.
Alternate names   Bishnupria Manipuri, Bishnupuriya, Bisna Puriya
Dialects  Madai Gang (Leimanai), Rajar Gang (Ningthaunai). Related to Bengali [ben], Assamese [asm]. Though once regarded as a Bengali-Meitei creole, it retains pre-Bengali features (Masica 1991). Intelligibility between the 2 caste dialects in Bangladesh sufficient to understand complex and abstract discourse. Lexical similarity: 81%–85% between dialects in Bangladesh, 41%–45% with Bengali.
Classification  Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
Language use  Also use Bengali [ben].
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 80%. Bilingual primary schools in Tripura. Poetry. Radio programs. Videos. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1995.
Writing system  Bengali script.
Comments  SOV, postpositions, articles before noun heads, question word before the verb, affixes indicate case of noun phrase, CV, CVC, CVV, CCV, VC, VCV, nontonal. Agriculturalists. Hindu.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Bishnupriya
Population  40,000 in Bangladesh (2003). 1% monolingual.
Region  Sylhet Division, Moulvibazar District; southern Habiganj District, Sylhet City, 1 village; Sunamganj District, 2 villages.
Language map  Bangladesh
Alternate names  Bishnupria, Bishnupuriya, Bisna Puriya
Dialects  Rajar Gang, Madai Gang.
Language use  Vigorous. Home, village. All ages. Positive attitude between dialects. All ages also use Bengali [ben], and use it with Meitei [mni] speakers. Older, uneducated women speak Bengali less fluently but most are able to converse.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 75% in Bengali. Those who are literate in Bengali are also able to read Bishnupriya though they have little practice at doing so.
Comments  Dialects are not attached to localities but exist side by side: Madai Gang (of the village of the queen) and Rajar Gang (of the village of the king). Peasant. Hindu.


Language name   Bishnupriya