Sema Language
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Sema Language

Sümi (Naga)
Pronunciation[s mi?]
Native toIndia
EthnicitySümi Naga
Native speakers
350,000 (2011 census)[1]
Language codes
ELPSumi Naga

Sümi, also Sema, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Nagaland, India. It is spoken by the Sümi Naga people.[2][3]

Geographical distribution

Sümi is spoken in central and southern Nagaland, in Zunheboto district, Dimapur district, Kohima district, Mokokchung district, and Tuensang district, as well as in 7 villages of Tinsukia district, Assam (Ethnologue).


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Sümi.

  • Dayang (Western Sümi)
  • Lazami
  • Jimomi
  • Zumomi


The transcriptions in this section use the International Phonetic Alphabet.


Monophthongs of Sema, from Teo (2012:368)

The vowels of Sümi are as follows:[4][5]


  • /i/ has been variously described as:
    • Near-close front unrounded ;[6]
    • Close front unrounded .[7]
  • /?/ has been variously described as:
    • Near-close central unrounded ;[6]
    • Close central unrounded .[8]
  • In word-medial position, /?/ can be realized as mid central unrounded .[4][8]
  • /u/ is close back rounded .[6][8]
  • The mid vowels /e, o/ can be realized as either close-mid [e, o] or open-mid [?, ?].[4][7]
    • Teo (2012) describes the close-mid allophone of /o/ as slightly advanced [o?].[6]
  • /a/ has been variously described as:
    • Near-open central unrounded ;[6]
    • Open central unrounded .[8]
  • After uvular stops, /a/ can be realized as open back unrounded .[8]


The consonants of Sümi are as follows[5][9] (allophones that are represented in the orthographic system are given in parentheses):


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Sreedhar (1976).
  3. ^ Sreedhar (1980).
  4. ^ a b c Teo (2012), p. 369.
  5. ^ a b Teo (2014), p. 20.
  6. ^ a b c d e Teo (2012), p. 368.
  7. ^ a b Teo (2014), p. 27.
  8. ^ a b c d e Teo (2014), p. 28.
  9. ^ Teo (2012), p. 366.


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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