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Language Documentation

Khamba Documentation

The people
Khamba, also Khampa (name place plus people), is one of the many languages that are spoken in Arunachal Pradesh. The Khamba population which is about 1330 (1991 census) is found in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The population is largely concentrated in villages namely, Mankota, Yortong and Tasigong of Singa Circle under Tuting sub division of Upper Siang district.
The Language
Spoken by less than 2000 speakers, Khamba, a member of Tibeto-Burman language family is one of the languages being invested in the scheme of the SPPEL. Some of the languages which border Khamba or exist as contact languages are Memba, Mismi and Adi. In fact Memba seems to be a very cognate of Khamba language. Like many places in Arunachal Pradesh, the use of Hindi which is quite a local variation is ubiquitous among Khamba speakers. Khamba is not used in official work. It is used in school as a medium by local teachers in remote local school.

Preliminary analysis of Khamba data (phonology and clause), as expected, shows that Khamba is attributed with typological features of Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Northeast India, for example, the clausal structure of Khamba has a SVO pattern and tonal features are noticed.

A Tibetan script is used for literary work. Kagiu Boom, Yokar and Tengur are some of the books written in Khamba using a Tibetan Script. No linguistic research or documentation has done yet on this language.
Religion and Occupation
Buddhism is a common belief practice of the community. Cultivation is the main occupation of Khamba people in which maize is a major cropping. Losar, a new year which occurs in mid February, is the main festival of the Khambas.
At present
Under SPPEL, preparation of a description of Khamba grammar and production of Khamba Bilingual Dictionary are undergoing.
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