Undocumented language found hidden in India

Undocumented language found hidden in India

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AP – This undated handout photo provided by National Geographic shows Kachim, a speaker of the hidden language …

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer – 2 hrs 26 mins ago

WASHINGTON – A “hidden” language spoken by only about 1,000 people has been discovered in the remote northeast corner of India by researchers who at first thought they were documenting a dialect of the Aka culture, a tribal community in the foothills of the Himalayas.

They found an entirely different vocabulary and linguistic structure.

Even the speakers of the tongue, called Koro, did not realize they had a distinct language, linguist K. David Harrison said Tuesday.

Culturally, the Koro speakers are part of the Aka community in India’s Arunachal Pradesh state, and Harrison, associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, said both groups merely considered Koro a dialect of the Aka language.

But researchers studying the groups found they used different words for body parts, numbers and other concepts, establishing Koro as a separate language, Harrison said.

“Koro is quite distinct from the Aka language,” said Gregory Anderson, director of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. “When we went there we were told it was a dialect of Aka, but it is a distant sister language.”

People of the Aka culture live in small villages near the borders of China, Tibet and Burma (also known as Myanmar). They practice subsistence hunting, farming and gathering firewood in the forest and tend to wear ornate clothing of hand-woven cloth, favoring red garments. Their languages are not well known, though they were first noted in the 19th century.

The region where they live in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains requires a special permit to enter. There, the researchers crossed a mountain river on a bamboo raft and climbed steep hillsides to to reach the remote villages, going door-to-door among the bamboo houses that sit on stilts.

Harrison and Anderson spoke at a news conference organized by the National Geographic Society, which supported their work.

The northeast corner of India is known as a hotspot of language diversity and researchers were documenting some of the unwritten tongues when they came across Koro in research started in 2008.

The timing of their discovery was important.

“We were finding something that was making its exit, was on its way out. And if we had waited 10 years to make the trip, we might not have come across close to the number of speakers we found,” said Anderson.

Previously undocumented languages are “noticed from time to time” Harrison said, so such a discovery is not rare. But at the same time linguists estimate that a language “dies” about every two weeks with the loss of its last speakers.

Counting Koro there are 6,910 documented languages in the world, Harrison said. But he added that is really just a best estimate that can change regularly.

Many languages around the world are considered endangered, including Koro, he explained, because younger people tend to shift to the more dominant language in a region.

Unusually, Koro has been maintained within the Aka community, the researchers said, even though there is intermarriage and the groups share villages, traditions, festivals and food. In addition to the estimated 800 to 1,200 Koro speakers, the West Kameng and East Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh contain 4,000 to 6,000 Aka speakers.

The Koro speakers “consider themselves to be Aka tribally, though linguistically they are Koro. It’s an unusual condition, such arrangement doesn’t usually allow for maintenance of the minor language,” Anderson said.

The threat, however, is from the spread of Hindi, a dominant language in India, and many youngsters go to boarding schools where they learn Hindi or English.

The researchers said they hope to figure out how the Koro language managed to survive within the Aka community.

They said Koro is a member of the Tibeto-Burman language family, a group of some 400 languages that includes Tibetan and Burmese. While Koro differs from Aka, it does share some things with another language, Tani, which is spoken farther to the east.

The research was started in 2008 to document two little known languages, Aka and Miji, and the third language, Koro, was discovered in that process.

“We didn’t have to get far on our word list to realize it was extremely different in every possible way,” Harrison said.

They said Koro’s inventory of sounds was completely different, and so was the way sounds combine to form words. Words also are built differently in Koro, as are sentences.

The Aka word for “mountain” is “phu,” while the Koro word is “nggo.” Aka speakers call a pig a “vo” while to Koro speakers, a pig is a “lele.”

“Koro could hardly sound more different from Aka,” reported Harrison, author of a new book “The Last Speakers,” about vanishing languages. Joining the two was linguist Ganesh Murmu of Ranchi University in India.

The researchers detail Koro in a scientific paper to be published in the journal Indian Linguistics.



Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages: http://www.livingtongues.org/

National Geographic Enduring Voices: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/mission/enduringvoices/



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The oldest mosques in Indonesia

The oldest mosques in Indonesia

Author by Tias di 6:23 PM

10 masjid tertua di Indonesia
10. Masjid Tua Palopo (1604 AD)

The old Polopo mosque is a mosque Luwu kingdom, founded by King Luwu named Sultan Abdullah Matinroe in 1604 AD, mosque which has an area of 15 m2 is named old man, because of old age. While Palopo name derived from the word in the language of the Bugis and Luwu has two meanings namely: first, confectionary made from a mixture of glutinous rice and sugar water. Secondly, put pegs in holes pole buildings. Both these meanings have a relationship with the development process of this Palopo Old Mosque.

9. Masjid Al Hilal Katangka (1603 AD)

This mosque was built in1603 AD during the reign of King of Gowa-24, I manga’ragi Daeng-Manrabbiakaraeng Lakiung, Sultan Alauddin. Later in the year 1605 AD, the mosque was completely revamped to be named Masjid Katangka. Mosque structure measuring 14.1 x 14.4 meters and an additional building 4.1 x 14.4 meters. Building height is 11.9 meters and 90 meters tebel walls, raw material of brick with tile roof and floor porcelain. Location in Katangka, Gowa.

8. Masjid Mantingan (1559 AD)

Mantingan Mosque is anancient mosque in the village Mantingan, Annual Sub-district, Jepara, Central Java. The mosque is reportedly established in the Sultanate of Demak. Founded by a high floor tiles covered with homemade China, and as well as railroad-undakannya. All imported from Macao. Building roof ridge is a style including China. Outer and inner walls decorated with blue pictorial pottery plates, was the wall next to where the priest and the preacher was decorated with reliefs illustrated wildlife square, dancers and dancers carved on the old yellow rock. Supervision of this mosque construction work was none other than Mo Han Liem Babah. Inside the mosque complex is the tomb of Sultan Hadlirin, husband of Queen Kalinyamat Kanjeng and brother-in-law of Sultan Trenggono, the last ruler of Demak. In addition there are also grave waliullah Mbah Abdul Jalil, who was mentioned as another name Sheikh Siti Jenar.
7. Masjid Agung Banten (1552-1570 AD)
Masjid Agung Banten built by Sultan Maulana Hasanuddin, or the son of Sunan Gunung Jati, although it has been aged for more than 4 centuries (founded in a range of years 1552-1570), appears still standing strong and well maintained. Like other mosques, building mosques berdenah parent rectangle. In the tower there is a ladder to get to the top. The ladder on the tower around the edge of it with only a narrow enough to pass by one person. 

Even if you have a fat body size / large, certainly not going to get through.

From the top of this tower, we can see the sights around the mosque includes sea with fishermen boats. The distance between this tower by the beach is not much that is approximately 1.5 km, so quite clearly to monitor activity in the sea waters banten.

6. Masjid Menara Kudus (1537 AD)

Masjid Menara Kudus (also known as Al Aqsa Mosque and the Mosque of Al Manar) is a mosque built by Sunan Kudus in the year 1549 AD or 956 Hijri year by using stones from the Baitul Maqdis of Palestine as the first stone and situated in thevillage Kauman, city districts, Kudus regency, Central Java. This unique form of the mosque, because it has a similar tower temple. 

This mosque is a combination of Islamic culture with Hindu culture.

5. Masjid Sultan Suriansyah (1526 AD)

Sultan Suriansyah Mosque is a historical mosque is the oldest mosque in South Kalimantan. This mosque was built in the reign of Tuan Guru (1526-1550), first king of Banjar converted to Islam.

The mosque is located in Northern and Health Sub-District, North Banjarmasin, Banjarmasin, the area known as the Old Banjar is the capital of the Sultanate of Banjar site the first time.

The architecture of the construction stage and roof overlap, is a traditional-style mosques Banjar. Traditional-style mosques in the Banjar mihrabnya have their own separate roof with the main building. The mosque is built on the banks of the river and Health.

4. Masjid Agung Demak (1474 AD)

Masjid Agung Demak is a mosque, the oldest in Indonesia. The mosque is located in the village Kauman, Demak, Central Java. The mosque is believed to have a gathering place for the clergy (guardian) propagator of Islam, also called Walisongo, to discuss the spreading of Islam in the Land of Java in particular and Indonesia in general. The founder of this mosque is estimated Raden Patah, the first king of the Sultanate of Demak.
This mosque has a main buildings and porches. The main building has four main pillars called saka guru. The building is a building open porch. Pyramid-shaped roof is supported by eight pillars of the so-called Saka Majapahit.
At the location of Masjid Agung Demak, there are several tombs of kings Sultanate of Demak and the servant. There is also a museum, which contains various things about the history of the establishment of the Great Mosque of Demak.

3. Masjid Ampel (1421 AD)

Ampel Mosque is an ancient mosque in the northern city of Surabaya, East Java. This mosque was founded by Sunan Ampel, and nearby there are complex Sunan Ampel.

Currently Ampel Mosque is one of the religious tourist destination in Surabaya. The mosque is surrounded by buildings of China and Arab architecture.

Besides the Ampel mosque left of the page, there is a well that is believed to be a magical well, usually used by those who meyakininnya for pledges amplifier.

2. Masjid Wapauwe (1414 AD)

Thi mosque is still well maintained. 

Most of the original building was also preserved some heritage objects such as the drum, the Qur’an ‘s handwriting, the scales nature of the stone which weighs 2.5 kg, and an ornate metal and read arabic letters on the wall. Mosque also still functioned as a place of prayer population arround.

If the drum was beaten, then his voice will be heard up to whole village, inviting people to come to the mosque in congregation.

Qur’an Manuscripts handwriting in this mosque ever exhibited at the Festival Istiqlal in Jakarta. Some new additions is the place wudlu, carpets, fans and the electricity to lighting.

1. Masjid Saka Tunggal (1288 AD)

Masjid Saka Tunggal is located in the village district Cikakak Wangon built in 1288 as engraved on the Saka Guru (Main Pillars) mosque. But in making this mosque is more clearly written in the books left by the founders of this mosque is Kyai Mustolih. But these books have been lost many years ago. Each date of Rajab 27 is held in the mosque and the net change of grave JARO Mustolih Kyai. The mosque is located ± 30 km from the town of Purwokerto. Called Saka Tunggal for building poles used to shape only one pole (single). Which according to Bp. Sopani one mosque caretaker is that the single pillars symbolizing that God is only one of Allah SWT. In some places there are forests of pine and other forest inhabited by hundreds of monkeys are tame and friendly, as in Sangeh Bali.


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