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Manipuri language


The Bishnupriya or Bishnupriya Manipuri (BPM) (বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in parts of the Indian states of Assam, Tripura and others, as well as in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh, Burma, and other countries. The Bishnupriya Manipuri language uses the Bengali alphabet as its writing system. History Bishnupriya Manipuri is spoken in parts of Assam and Tripura in India, in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh, Burma, and in several other countries. It is different from many Indo-Aryan languages like Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, etc. The language originated and developed in Manipur and was originally confined to the surroundings of the Loktak Lake. Other authorities such as An account of the valley of Manipore by Col. McCullock,[4] Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal by E. T. Dalton[5] and the Linguistic Survey of India by George Abraham Grierson[6] mention that the language was in existence in Manipur before the 19th century. Dr. Grierson refers to the language as "Bishnupuriya Manipuri", while some other writers call it simply "Bishnupriya". Dialects Bishnupriyas have two dialects, namely Rajar Gang ("King's village") and Madai Gang ("Queen's village"). Unlike the dialects of other tribes, these dialects of Bishnupriya are not confined to distinct geographical areas; they rather exist side by side in the same localities. In Manipur, however, these two dialects were confined to well-defined territories. From the viewpoint of phonetics, Madai Gang is more akin to Assamese and Meitei, whereas Rajar Gang is more akin to Bengali. In vocabulary Madai Gang is more influenced by Meitei while Rajar Gang is more akin to Bengali and Assamese. The morphological differences between the two dialects are negligible. Script The orthodox Bishnupriyas claim that they have their own script, that is, the Devanagari script, which was used to write in the Bishnupriya language in its early years. However, on introduction of modern education during the British period through the Bengali language the Bishnupriya Manipuri writers began to use the Purvanagari i.e. Assamese/Bengali script. This alphabet has consonant letters with dependent vowel signs (matras) as well as independent vowel letters. Punctuation marks and numerals are also used. Bishnupriya Manipuri is written from left to right and top to bottom, in the same manner as in English. Some of the consonants can combine with one another to make orthographic clusters (named conjuncts).