respondents, 70 (20.89%) and 61 (18.20%) know Assamese language
through marketing centers and traders respectively. Other 204 (60.91%) respondents have
learnt it through schools. In case of the Bengali language, 98 (29.25%) of them learnt
this language through marketing centers and equal number of respondents picked it up
through traders. Both marketing centers and traders have been playing very significant
roles in spreading Hindi language among the respondents. 130 (38.81%) and 115 (34.33%)
respondents learnt Hindi through marketing centers and traders respectively. In case of
Nepali language also, the same sources of learning the languages have played significant
roles. It is worth mentioning that the respondents have not chosen leaders as the sources
of knowing other languages. English is known only to the educated respondents. 113
(39.70%) out of 335 respondents learnt English through schools whereas 6 (1.79%)
respondents picked up English through students. The table shows that next to Assamese, the
most well-known language of the respondents is Hindi.
In some areas, especially in Lakhimpur sub-division of Lakhimpur district and Golaghat
sub-division of Sibsagar district, the acculturation in the field of language is so deep
that in several Mishing villages, the people have almost forgotten the Mishing language.
Among the non-Mishing speaking Mishings, there are five divisions, viz., Temar,
Samuguria, Bongkual, Bihia and Bebejia (Loying, 1972 : 28). The Mishings of
these divisions have completely forgotten the Mishing language. At present, their main
language is Assamese. Only few Mishing words and kinship terms are used by them in daily
conversation. It is not sure whether the non-Mishing people formed these sub-groups during
the Ahom-Chutia conflict and Mon (Burmese) aggression or the Mishings accepted the
Assamese language in place of their own. these sub-groups and families are not found in
the villages of the present study.
major observations on language can be summarised as follows :
(1) All the respondents, irrespective of the levels of literacy,
can speak and understand Assamese language. Next to the Mishing dialect, Assamese is
the predominant Medium for communication with other people.
(2) In conversation, use of Assamese words and sentences are
common among the respondents. It is found in few educated families that the young children
do not know their own language. It is noteworthy that parents of such families are proud
of their children as their sons and daughters can speak sound and fluent Assamese.
(3) Next to Assamese, Hindi is the most popular language of the
(4) Most of the respondents are of the view that in future
Mishing language may be replaced by Assamese language, if proper written and printed
literature in Mishing language is not developed. The respondents told that like the
Samugurias(as discussed earlier) they might forget their dialect if the
acceptance of Assamese l language continues as it is continuing today.
(5) All the mantras for ritual activities used by the Bhaktas
and Hattulas are in Assamese language. These mantras are the
abstract from Kirtana,Namghusa and Bhagavat Gita.These are the
influences of Sankardev's Vaishnavism through the Gosains of the Satras.Thus
religion has helped in the spread of Assamese language.
The respondents are in favour of the gradual change in all spheres of the Mishing
Case Study 5.5
Babulal Paw, 54, of Mohmora village is a successful contractor. His economic condition is
sound. He told that as a contractor he had to know almost all the languages of his
locality. He feels "Assamese language is a must for us. So is he case with Hindi. Our
own dialect is not fully developed, therefore we have no other alternative but to
accept other languages." More or less the same views were expressed by
other respondents also.