Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
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This paper discusses the ritual language of Thadou-Kuki, a Tibeto-Burman language of the Kuki-Chin subgroup spoken in Northeastern India and the Chin State of Myanmar. The paper examines 13 ritual texts to determine the nature of language use and the types of structure that ritual language provides. The paper discusses the general belief surrounding the traditional religion as background information to the types of ritual language discussed in the paper. This is followed by a discussion on the structure of ritual language in terms of composition, grammatical constructions, and the choices of words used in the ritual language of Thadou-Kuki, including archaic expressions that are characteristic of ritual language. From the analysis of the ritual texts, the paper discusses the types of repetition at the level of syllables and paragraphs/stanzas. Each stanza is further divided into couplets of repetitive phrases (differing mostly in the initial words of a phrase or sentence). The paper divides the ritual language of Thadou-Kuki into two, namely invocation and direct address to the spirits. The former makes use of imperatives, namely the request –, the invitational –, and the hortative –. Direct address to the spirits, on the other hand, makes use of the declarative mood, namely, a clause or sentence-final marker .


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Northeast India; ritual language; Thadou-Kuki; Tibeto-Burman
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