Falam language

Falam
Halam
Laiṭawng
Native to Burma, India
Native speakers
(107,000 cited 1983–2001)[1]
Dialects
  • Zanniat
  • Laizo
  • Zahau
  • Tlaisun
  • Khualsim
  • Lente
  • Chorei
  • Rupini
  • Koloi
  • Tapong
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cfm
Glottolog fala1243[2]

Falam (Falam Chin), also known as Baro Halam, is a Kuki-Chin language in Falam township, Chin State, Burma, and also in India.

Falam Chin is closely related to most Central Chin languages, especially Hakha (Lai) Chin which has been studied more in depth than Falam Chin.[3]

The Falam people are primarily Christian and have translated the Bible into Falam Chin.

Dialects

Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Falam.

  • Taisun (Shunkla, Sunkhla, Taishon, Tashom, Tashon)
  • Laizo (Laiso, Laizao, Laizo-Shimhrin)
  • Zahao (Lyen-Lyem, Yahow, Zahau, Zahau-Shimhrin, Za-How)
  • Sim

Falam was a village name founded by the Taisun (also known as Tashon in English) tribe and Tashon was the original language spoken in Falam. Falam became increased in population from the surrounding tribes from Sunthla (also recorded as Sunkhla), Sim and Zahau (also recorded as Zahao) that created a new language based on these three tribes which are very different from Taisun language and this language was later popularly known as Laizo language. Laizo language was recorded as the first language used in the official radio broadcasting dialect of Chin in Myanmar (Burma). In order to be inclusive in Laizo language this language was later changed to Falam language although its official name recorded in the government is Laizo.

Rupini and Koloi are also reported to be quite different.[1] Dialects once misleadingly called Southern Luhupa are actually Northern Kuki-Chin, and evidently Falam.[4]

Ethnologue reports the following speaker populations of Falam dialects as of 1983: 9,000 Taisun, 16,000 Zanniat, 7,000 Khualsim, 4,000 Lente, 14,400 Zahau, 18,600 Laizo.

Written/Spoken Falam Chin

This is a sample of written Falam Chin:

A hmaisabik ah Pathian in lei van a seemsuah. Lei cu pianhmang le hmuithlam zianghman a rak nei lo. Which translates to In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water.[5]

Falam Chin is written in romanized form, or in the English alphabets. But Q,Y,J and X are not included. However, consonant ṭ (t with dot) and ng (Guttural sound) and aw vowel are frequently used in Chin both literature and speaking.

Falam Chin Characters

Consonants b c d f g h j k l m n p r s t ṭ v z Vowels a .... as in amphibious aw.... as in omega (Long vowel) e .... as in example i .... as in interesting o .... as in son (Short vowel) u .... as in due

The Falam language has five spoken vowels, but in writing, six are used. Of the five spoken, three of them, /u/, /a/, and /ɔ/ are spoke from the back of the mouth, /i/ is spoken from the top of the mouth, and /e/ is spoken from the middle. /ɔ/ can be pronounced as aw or o.[6] |

References

  1. 1 2 Falam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Falam Chin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. King, Deborah (2010). VOICE AND VALENCE-ALTERING OPERATIONS IN FALAM CHIN: A ROLE AND REFERENCE GRAMMAR APPROACH. Arlington, Texas: The University of Texas at Arlington.
  4. Linguasphere code 73-DDD-bp
  5. "Chin (Falam) Language". LM Languages.
  6. Chin Writers' Handbook. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA: Bibles International. 2011.
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