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A grammar of Monsang, an endangered language of Manipur, India


Language Monsang
Depositor Linda Konnerth
Affiliation University of Oregon, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Location India
Collection ID 0403
Grant ID BCS-1360632
Funding Body National Science Foundation
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

This collection is a collection of audio recordings and audio-video recordings of a variety of text genres. The project behind the collection has the goal of preparing a reference grammar of Monsang that is built on a corpus of natural data. The collection is supposed to both document aspects of the traditional life of the Monsang community, in particular folk stories, as well as document modern life, also in terms of how life for community members has been changing rapidly in the last several decades.

The research underlying this project represents a collaboration between Scott DeLancey, Professor emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Oregon; Linda Konnerth, formerly postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oregon and now assistant professor at the University of Regensburg; and Koninglee Wanglar, a linguist and language activist based in Liwachangning Village.


Group represented

Monsang is spoken by about 2,000 people across six villages in Chandel District, Manipur, Northeast India: Liwachangning, Liwa Sarei, Liwa Khullen, Heibunglok (Changnhe), Monsang Pantha, Japhou. The Monsang language belongs to the Trans-Himalayan language family. Within Trans-Himalayan, Monsang belongs to the South-Central branch, also known as “Kuki-Chin” in the literature. Within South-Central, Monsang is classified as a Northwestern (formerly “Old Kuki”) language.


Language information

Monsang is a Tibeto-Burman (Trans-Himalayan) language of Chandel District, Manipur, Northeast India. It belongs to the Northwestern (formerly “Old Kuki”) subbranch of the South-Central or Kuki-Chin languages. There are an approximate 2,000 native speakers of Monsang who live across six villages in Chandel District.


Collection contents

This collection contains video and audio files of 15 texts of spontaneous language use, all with ELAN files that provide full transcription and translation. In addition, audio files of recordings made for the purpose of phonetic analysis are made available.

The texts include folk stories, personal stories, procedural texts, interviews/conversations, as well as stimulus-based texts: four narrations (commentaries) of the pear story as well as one narration of one of the frog stories. The texts include a total of 15 different speakers of different villages, although with a focus on Liwachangning.


Collection history

Research on this project commenced in May 2014. Most of the data collection took place between 2014-2016. Data analysis and annotation is still ongoing.


Other information

Publications resulting from this corpus include:

Konnerth, Linda. Forthcoming. “On the nature of inverse systems: The rise of inverse marking via antipassive constructions.” Diachronica.

Konnerth, Linda. To appear 2020. “On the phylogenetic status of the Northwestern subbranch of South-Central (“Kuki-Chin”): A case study in historical phonology.” In Ethno-linguistic prehistory of the Eastern Himalaya, edited by Toni Huber, Stephen Morey, and Mark Post. Brill.

Konnerth, Linda. 2020. “Recycling through perspective persistence in Monsang (Trans-Himalayan): Reconstructing the desiderative from a reported intentionality construction.” Functions of Language 27 (1): 55–77.

Konnerth, Linda, and Koninglee Wanglar. 2019. “Person indexation in Monsang from a diachronic perspective.” Himalayan Linguistics 18 (1): 54–77.

Konnerth, Linda. 2018. “The historical phonology of Monsang (Northwestern South-Central/“Kuki-Chin”): A case of reduction in phonological complexity.” Himalayan Linguistics 17 (1): 19–49.

None of the data in this collection may be used as evidence in court.


Acknowledgement and citation

This corpus represents a collaboration between the Monsang community, in particular the village of Liwachangning and especially Koninglee Wanglar, and linguists (previously) associated with the University of Oregon, Scott DeLancey and Linda Konnerth. We would like to thank all the many people at Liwachangning Village who over the years supported this project in one form or another, especially during difficult times. It is our hope that this corpus and the descriptive grammar, which together produce a lasting record of the Monsang language as spoken at the beginning of the 21st century, will prove useful to future generations of the Monsang people.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge funding support by the United States National Science Foundation, grant # BCS-1360632.

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge Linda Konnerth and Koninglee Wanglar as the principal researchers and data collectors. Individual speakers whose words and/or images are used should be acknowledged by name.

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Konnerth, Linda & Koninglee Wanglar. 2019. A grammar of Monsang, an endangered language of Manipur, India: an archive of audio(-video) recordings and related materials. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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