Khamti language

Region Burma, India
Ethnicity Khamti people
Native speakers
13,000 (2000–2007)[1]
Khamti script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kht
Glottolog kham1290[2]

Khamti language ( Khamti : လိꩱ့်တဲးၵမ်းတီႈ (Khamti written), Khamti : ၵၢမ်းတဲးၵံးတီႈ (Khamti spoken) Shan ၶၢမ်းတႆးၶမ်းတီႈ , [kháːm táj], or Shan: ၽႃႇသႃႇတႆးၶမ်းတီႈ, [pʰàːsʰàː táj]; Burmese: ခန္တီးရှမ်းဘာသာ, [ʃáɴ bàðà]; Thai: ภาษาไทคำตี่ ) is a Southwestern Tai language spoken in Burma and India by the Khamti people.


In Burma, Khamti is spoken by 3,500 in Sagaing Region, near Myitkyina and by 4,500 in Kachin State, Putao District (both reported in 2000). In India, it is spoken by 5,000 in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, in the Dikrong Valley, Narayanpur, and north bank of the Brahmaputra (reported in 2007).

Three dialects of Khamti are known: North Burma Khamti, Assam Khamti and Sinkaling Khamti. All speakers of Khamti are bilingual, largely in Assamese and Burmese.[3]


"Khamti" has been variously rendered Hkamti, Khampti, Khamti Shan, Khampti Shan, Khandi Shan, Kam Ti, Tai Kam Ti, Tai-Khamti, Kamti, Hkampti Shan, and Khampti Sam.[3]


The language seems to have originated around Mogoung in Upper Burma.[4] Mung Kang was captured, a large group of Khamtis moved to the north and east of Lakhimpur. In the year 1850, 300–400 Khamtis settled in Assam.[5]


Unlike other Tai languages that display SVO word order, Khamti has SOV word order.[6]

Further reading


  1. Khamti at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Khamti". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 1 2 "Khamti". Endangered Languages Project. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  4. "Khamti". Khamti - A Language of Siamese-Chinese sub-family. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  5. Needham, J.F. (1894). Outline Grammar of the Khamti Language. Government Printing, Burma.
  6. Wilaiwan Kanittanan. 1986. Kamti Tai: From an SVO to an SOV language. In Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (ed.), South Asian Languages: Structure, Convergence and Diglossia, 174-178. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

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