ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Linguistic Matrix in Manipur

Language, especially tribal language, is a major feature of ethnic identity. The decline of a tribal language often represents subjugation of that community.

“A language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by which  members of a social group cooperate and interact” (Gazetteer of India, Volume I). Language is not only a tool of communication but also has ethnic socio-cultural and political implications. Various ethnic groups typically have their own dialects. These are often seen by those who use them as languages in their own right.

In a society which has various ethnic groups, the use of one language is often imposed or one language ‘dominates’ the others depending on the importance and number of speakers. The dominant language of the larger community occupies a pre-eminent place subduing the minor language/dialect of the minorities. There are many instances, where the minority languages become a ‘dead’ language. For example, American Indian languages have almost died out (Wordsworth Encyclopaedia, 1995).

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