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Paradigm of Verbs in/of the Tanchangya Language: An Introduction

Posted by UTACF Admin Committee on May 5, 2012 at 9:20 PM

By: Shuva Langker Tanchangya

The beauty of a language and its taste is tangible when one knows the usage of the words of a particular language. Basically, provided that in English there are ‘eight parts of speech’ that form the English language are being used in daily intereaction in expressing ideas and thoughts. But, of the eight parts of speech, the role of the verb isgiven priority due to the fact that the verb plays the vital role in any language in expressing or presenting the actions, the ideas and thoughts of aperson. The verb itself can play the role of a complete sentence in a language,and the Tanchangya language is no exception. Such as when the term ‘hà” is formed from the root √ha (to eat), it gives the complete sense of the sentence as “you eat”. Thus the verb is the most important science of a language, even in Tanchangya language too.

The origin of the Tanchangya language is yet uncertain and still needs further anthropological researchal though historically/traditionally claimed that the Tanchangyas are Mongolian origin, which puts forth the idea that the Tanchangya language is a Mongolian origin or of similar kind. But, it is hard to accept such a conclusion since there has been no any proof to show any similarity between the two at least in some extend. However, when scrutinizing the elements of the Tanchangya language, grammar, sentence formation, conjugation etc, it is no doubt that one could still as certain that the Tanchangya language is a mixture of the languages belonging to the Modern Indo-Aryan Language family, such as Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu etc. It is, in fact, a reasonable fact to be believed for in greater extend there is much similarity between the Tanchangya language and the languages of the Modern Indo-Aryan Languages. For example, in Tanchangya the wordfor water is “pani,” which is also explicitly being used both in Bengali and Hindi. There are many such examples. Moreover, it can also be traced to the Middle-Indo Aryan Languages such as Pali and Sanskrit.

Speakers of Tanchangya language are geographically found in some parts of Burma, India and Bangladesh. Despite the fact that the tanchangya alphabets are recently been into existence it is unknown to many of the tanchangyas since yet no media has been introduced to promote (the alphabets). Therefore, the Tanchangya language from the earliest time has been surviving orally among its speakers. It is due to thisvery reason that the language is facing hard time to expend from its original regions, and hardly being spoken even within its people who have been abandoned from the language since their childhood. But, here, the main focus would be paid to the verbs and their conjugations. It is with the usage of the verb that the time itself could be indicated, like past, present and future.


Note: in some cases, some verbs take “e” as the ending, specially in the 3rdperson singular, in the present tense. Example, gōre (does), dhōre (holds), lōre (moves) etc.


Té bhàt hài – he eats rice.

Té gorot thài – he stays at home. 

Té kam gōre – he works.

Note: while forming the past tense some verbs undergo little internal changes keeping the terminations as they are; which has no specific rule and the readers are advised to get use to it through often practice. Through this the nature of their regularity of the verbs in Tanchangya language could be noted clearly. Example, giye (went), tuye (kept), luye(took) etc.


1.     Té gorot giye– he went home.

2.     Té gan(ekkhan) gaye – he sang a song.

Note: in this case, a root ending with “a” does not undergo any changes when forming future tense, such as √ja(to go) > jàb (he’ll go). But, a root ending with “o” changes into “u”, such as √lô (to take) > lùb (he’ll take), while “i” is inserted in between the root ending with “r” and the case termination and at the same time“o” changes into “u”, such as √dhor (to hold) >dhurib (he’ll hold).


1.     Té Thàb (he’ll stay)

2.     Té Guribo (he’ll do)


1.     Té Hàr (he’s eating)

2.     Té Dhar (he’s running)

In the case of the Continues tense I, case termination “r” is invariable, while changes happen in the middle between the case termination and the root depending on the root form.

Besides this, there is another notable continues tense in Tanchangya language used more often than not.

Note: in the Perfect tense I, the case termination is invariable, while the other part of the word changes depending on the root.

In the Perfect Tense II, it isclear that same form is used in all three cases/persons, both in singular and plural. The similarity between the Perfect Tenses I and II is the meaning. But, there is specialty in the perfect tense II in employing the meaning; it gives an extra meaning of “after”. Example, Té haihui (after he has eaten)

Gerund or Absolute

When suffix ‘né’ is added to averb stem, while ‘i’ is inserted in between it becomes absolute or gerund in Tanchangya language such as when i+né is added to the root/stem Hà (to eat), it becomes Hàiné (having eaten).

Examples: Pùriné – Having read

Gàdíné – Having bathed

Béràiné – Having wandered

Another form of gerund or absolute is found in Tanchangya language, when 3rd person singular present tense is always used together with the gerund form mentioned above,such as when Hài is added/used with the gerund form Hàiné, it becomes Hàiné hài (having eaten or after eating). But, there are few exceptional cases in which the gerund form does not take the 3rd person singular of the present tense, such as Gàdíné gàdí (having bathed or after bathing), of which the 3rd person singular is Gàdé (he baths).

Examples: Jàiné jàí – Having gone/after going

Béràiné béràí – Having wandered/after wandering

Pùríné pùrí – Having roasted/after roasting

Like any other language, in Tanchangya language too, a sentence is basically consisted of subject, verb and object. When it is said in Tanchangya “mui bhat haŋ” meaning “I eat rice,”vividly presents the three basic elements of sentence formation like that of English language. But, the basic structure of making sentences in Tanchangya language is similar to that of the Modern Indo-Aryan languages, in which subject comes first, object and then the verb. For example, mui (subject) bhat (object) haŋ (verb) = I eat rice (simple present tense). Another important thing to be noted in Tanchangya language is that in informal usage the subjectis very often referred by the usage of the verb, that is only when used together with an object. Example, (ikkulot) jogoi; translation (you) go (toschool).

It is clear according to the above description to conclude that the Tanchangya language also contains all the tenses similar to the tenses used in other languages. The structure of the formation of the Tanchangya language is also explained explicitly and the way to conjugate. In this regard, Tanchangya language too is rich in grammar like that of the Middle Indo-Aryan languages.  However, here the reader is reminded to note that there is yet much to be explored on this subject matter. Here, in an utmost level, I tried my best to present all the tenses of the verb of the Tanchangya language as accurately as possible. The tenses discussed above would be useful and satisfactory as the basic element of a language for aforeigner who is really keen to learn the Tanchangya language. Of course, to note, it is the first work of its kind and in future much more exploration/research is expected on this topic and the history of Tanchangya language (may or may not be by this same author).

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Reply UTACF Admin Committee
12:25 AM on May 6, 2012 
wonderful job man..... :)
Reply Shuva Tanchangya
1:33 AM on May 6, 2012 
Thanks :) @UTACF