Chittagonian language

Native toBangladesh
RegionChittagong region
Native speakers
13 million (2006)[1]
to 16 million (2007)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ctg
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 Chittagonian Language speaking area

Chittagonian, also known by its endonym Chatgaya (Chittagonian: চাটগাঁইয়া Chaţgãia) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Chittagong Division in Bangladesh. It is generally considered to be a nonstandard dialect of Bengali because its speakers identify with Bengali culture and Standard Bengali as literary language,[4] but the two are not mutually intelligible.[5][6] It is estimated (2009) that Chittagonian has 13–16 million speakers, principally in Bangladesh.[7]


Chittagonian is a member of the Bengali-Assamese sub-branch of the Eastern group of Indo-Aryan languages, a branch of the wider Indo-European language family. Its sister languages include Sylheti, Rohingya, Chakma, Assamese, and Bengali. It is derived through an Eastern Middle Indo-Aryan from Old Indo-Aryan, and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European.[5]



Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless p ʈ k
aspirated t̪ʰ ʈʰ
voiced b ɖ ɡ
breathy d̪ʱ ɖʱ ɡʱ
Affricate voiceless ts
aspirated tɕʰ
breathy dʑʱ
Fricative voiceless f~ɸ s ʃ x h
voiced z ɣ
Nasal m n ŋ
Trill/Tap ɾ~r ɽ
Approximant lateral l
central (w) (j)
  • Approximants [w j] are only heard as allophones of vowels /i u/.
  • /ts/ can have a post-alveolar allophone of [tʃ].
  • /ʃ/ can have an allophone of [ç].
  • /f/ can have a bilabial allophone of [ɸ] .[8]


Front Central Back
High i u
High-mid e o
Low-mid (ɛ) ɔ
Low æ a
  • Nasalization occurs for seven vowels /ĩ ẽ æ̃ ã ɔ̃ õ ũ/.
  • [ɛ] is heard as an allophone of /æ/.[9]

Writing system

Historically Perso-Arabic script was used for the writing system. The Bengali-Assamese script is the most common script used nowadays, although the Arabic script remains in use.

See also


  1. ^ Chittagonian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  3. ^ "Chittagonian written with Arabic script, Naskh variant". ScriptSource. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  4. ^ Masica, Colin (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 25.
  5. ^ a b "Chittagonian A language of Bangladesh". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  6. ^ Masica, Colin (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 16. "The dialect of Chittagong, in southeast Bangladesh, is different enough to be considered a separate language."
  7. ^ "Summary by language size". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  8. ^ Hai, Muhammad A. (1965). A study of Chittagong dialect. In Anwar S. Dil (ed.), Studies in Pakistani Linguistics. pp. 17–38.
  9. ^ Moniruzzaman, M. (2007). Dialect of Chittagong. In Morshed, A. K. M.; Language and Literature: Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

External links

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