Tribal people make up 8.2 percent of the nation's total population, which adds to over 84 million people, according to the 2001 Indian census. Tribal people are essentially an aboriginal community residing in India, possessing their own customs and languages. With their own mellifluous and rational style of living, Indian tribesmen are almost secluded in their universe, cut off from the rest of 'civilised' society. As such, it has since long remained a point of much curiosity and research about the kind of daily life they lead, or the style of language they employ. Indeed, Indian tribal languages are perhaps the second most enamouring topic of daily discussion, with the first being accredited to tribal dance and jewellery.
Different Types of Indian Tribal Language
Indian tribal language can be defined as essentially 'folk' languages, possessing no literary specifications of their own and spoken by people of ethnic groups who prefer to live in relatively isolated groups. Indian tribal languages can simply be defined as the traditional languages utilised by the tribal folk. The languages used by tribal communities in India are indeed quite complex, but still priceless relics of India's past and nearly overshadowed glory. This is the precise reason why they are preserved orally in the form of songs, legends and other tales. Some of the leading tribal language-speaking groups comprise: Garo tribes, Chakma tribes, Naga tribes, Gond tribes, Mizo tribes, Munda tribes, Santhali tribes, Khasia tribes, Oraon tribes and the tribe of Manipur.
Some of the tribal languages prevalent in India are Abujmaria, Garo, Aariya, and Tsangla, Saurashtri etc.The Garo language is spoken by the tribal communities residing in and around Garo hills, Meghalya, Tripura, Western Assam, and Nagaland. Several dialects of this language include Megam, Chisak, Atong etc. Another tribal language is Abujmaria which is spoken by the people of Abujmar hills in Bastar District. The Hill Maria tribal community uses this language as their medium to converse with their folks. This language is of Dravidian language family. Saurashtri is another tribal language which is also termed as Patnuli. Tribal communities residing in different parts of Andhra Pradesh, parts of Karnataka, North Arcot and Chennai speak in this language. Apart from these tribal languages, there are some other tribal languages namely Gadaba spoken by the people of Koraput district of Orissa. Aariya is another tribal language spoken by the tribal communities of Madhya Pradesh and Tsangla spoken in some villages of Arunachal Pradesh.
Indian tribal languages are extremely well organised and orderly, owing to a developed past and the enlightened educational interference. Garo and Chakma languages have a slight Chinese hint to their diction. There lies an elementary similarity between the Garo and Magh languages, as both tribes belong to the same origin. Munda, Santhali, Kol, Khasia, Garo and Kurukh language are interrelated languages. Munda and Kurukh are regarded as equivalent languages, due to the syntax and verbs of both are almost identical. Munda, Santhali and Kol languages are even more ancient than the Indo-Aryan languages. These tribal languages further belong to Austro-Asian, Indo-Chinese, and Chinese-Tibetan, Tibetan-Burman or Dravidian families. As these tribal groups have mostly migrated from places mentioned, they have adopted their language principally from those nations.
The various languages spoken by Tribes of India are as follows -
Indo-Aryan Family: Assamese language , Baigani, Banjari, Bengali language,, Bhatri, Bhili, Bhunjia, Chakma, Chhattisgarhi, Dhanki, Dhodia, Dhundhari, Gadiali, Gamit/Gavti, Garasia/Girasia, Gojri/Gujjari, Gujarati language, Hajong, Halbi, Harauti, Hindi language, Jaunsari, Kachchi, Khotta, Kinnui, Kokni, Konkani language, Kotwalia, Kudamamali, Thar, Lambani or Lamani language, Laria, Magahi, Mahl, Marathi language, Mavchi, Mewnri, Nagpuri, Naikadi, Nimari, Oriya language, Rathi, Sarhodi, Shina, Tharu, Wagri, Warli.
Tibeto-Burman Family: Adi Ashing, Adi Bokar, Adi Bori, Adi Gallong, Adi Komkar, Adi Milang, Adi Minyong, Adi Padam, Adi Karko, Pailibo, Adi Pangi, Adi Pasi, Adi Ramo, Adi Shimong, Adi Tangam, Aimol, Anal, Angami, Ao, Apatani, Balti, Bangni/Dafla, Bawm, Bhotia, Biate, Bodo, Bugun, Chakhesang, Champa, Chang, Chiru, Chote, Chung, Dalu, Deori, Dokpa/Droskat, Duhlian-Twang, Gangte, Garo, Halam, Hmar, Hrusso/Aka, Hualngo, Kabui, Kachari, Kagati, Kak barak, Khamba, Khampa, Khiamngan, Koch, Koireng, Konyak, Kuki, Ladakhi, Lahauli, Lai Hawlh, Lakher/Mara, Lalung, Lamgang, Lepcha, Lisu, Lotha, Lushai/Mizo, Mag/Mogh, Mao, Maram, Maring, Memba, Mikir, Miri, Mishing, Mishmi, Monpa, Monsang, Moyon, Na, Naga, Sherdukpen, Nishi, Nocte, Paite, Pang, Phom, Pochury, Ralte, Rengma, Riang, Sajalong/Miju, Sangtam, Sema, Sherpa, Singpho, Sulung, Tagin, Tangsa, Thado, Tangkhul, Tibetan, Toto, Vaiphei, Wancho, Yim-chungre, Zakhring/Meyer, Zemi, Zou.
Dravidian Family: Dhurwa, Gadaba tribe , Gondi, Kadar tribe, Kannada, Kodagu, Kolami, Koraga, Kota, Koya/Koi, Kui, Kurukh, Kuvi, Malayalam, Malta, Maria, Naiki, Parji, Pengo, Tamil, Telugu langauge, Toda, Tulu, Virnvn, Yerukula.
Austro-Asiatic Family: Asuri, Bhumij tribe, Birhor tribe, Birjia tribe, Bondo, Diday, Gutob, Ho, Juang, Kharia, Khasi, Kherwari, Korku, Korwa, Kurmi, Lodha, Mundari, Nicobarese, Santali, Saora/Savara, Shompen, Thar.
Andamanese Family: Andamanese Tribe, Jarawa tribe, Onge, Santinelese.
Chinese Family: Khampti
Unclassified Family: Manchat
However, the list of Indian tribal languages is pretty huge and gargantuan in the outset, owing to the overwhelming number of tribes residing throughout the country.