(Last Updated on : 04/03/2013)
Assamese is the official language of the state of Assam
in India. This language belongs to the easternmost group of Indo Aryan languages
. Though Assamese language is mainly spoken in Assam, it is also used in several parts of the state of Arunachal Pradesh
and some more North Eastern Indian states
. Assamese language is basically found along the Brahmaputra valley. The sounds of this language are little similar to Bengali language
, except for some minor differences. As far as the history and the historical records of Assamese language are concerned, not much information is available. Only this much is known is that that the initiation of Assamese language just like its other associated languages like Maithili language
, Oriya language
and Bengali language, came from the Magadhi Prakrit. With the passage of time, this language has undergone major developments. Today, Assamese language is hugely spoken by the people of the country.
is also very rich. In the late 13th century AD, Hema Saraswati, one of the oldest Assamese writers, wrote the very popular 'Prahlada Charita'. Another renowned figure of Assamese literature was Madhava Kandali. The prominent works in Assamese literature include Giti Ramayana, several poems and songs, etc. It was followed by a generation of novelists, writers and poets like Rajanikanta Bardaloi (1867-1939), Chandra Kumar Agarwala (1867-1938), Padmanath Gohain Baruwa (1871-1946), Hiteshwar Bezbarua (1871-1931), Benudhar Raj Khowa (1872-1935) and many more. Moreover several contemporary writers like Raghunath Chaudhari also wrote generously in the age of social reforms and nationalism. Assamese literature of contemporary times is more popular because of a particular genre of vibrant short-stories. The present generation of some well known popular writers include names such as Harendra Kumar Bhuyan, Arupa Patangia Kalita, Phul Goswami, Indira Goswami
and Manoj Kumar Goswami.
The Assamese language makes usage of the Assamese script that is a variant of eastern Nagari script
. The Assamese script traces its roots from the Gupta script
. The writing style of Assamese language is very unique. It has its own distinct style of writing basically on the bark of the 'saanchi tree'. Interestingly, some of the religious chronicles and texts in Assamese language were written on bark of saanchi tree. In Assamese language, the spellings used initially are not phonetic. In fact, Hemkosh that is Assamese language's second dictionary is popularly known to have introduced such specific spellings in the language that are principally Sanskrit-based. Thus, it can be said that Assamese language has several distinctive and interesting characteristics.