|Nyishi, Nisi, Nishing|
|Region||Arunachal Pradesh, Assam|
|220,000 (2001 census)|
Nishi (also known as Nyishi, Nisi, Nishing, Nissi, Nyising, Bangni, Dafla, Daphla, Lel) is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Tani branch spoken in lower Subansiri and East Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Darrang District of Assam in India. According to 1991 census of India the population of the Nishi speakers is 173,791. The total population of Nishi speakers as per 1997 database is 261,000 including 37,300 Tagins. Though there are plenty of variations across regions, the dialects of Nishi, such as Tagin, are easily mutually intelligible. 'Nisi' is sometimes used as a cover term for western Tani languages.
Nishi is a subject–object–verb language.:80
The main origin of this language has been pointed out by George Abraham Grierson as ‘Dafla’. He included different varieties under a common name which is known as North Assam group. The varieties are Abor, Miri and Dafla according to him. Daflas used to denote them as ‘Nyi-Sing’. these tribes inhabited between the Assam Valley and Tibet. Then they started to spread in Lakhimpur, Sibsagar and Darrang Districts of Assam. Mr. William Robinson in his notes mentioned that Daflas were spread over a region from 92°50’ to 94° north latitude.
The word nyishi itself means "upland man", and is a compound of nyi ("man") and shi ("highland").:4
- bénam – "to hold"
- benam – "to deliver"
- bènam – "to vomit"
Counting system differs in case of human vs. non-human objects.
- 230,000 (2001 census), less 23,000 Bangni (2007), plus 10,000 Hill Miri (undated)
- Nishi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Nyishi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Abraham, P. T. "A Grammar of Nyishi Language" (PDF). Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- Linguistic Survey Of India, Vol. III part I (Tibeto Burman Family) first published almost a century ago
- Lahiri, Bornini (2013). "Noun Cases in Nyishi" (PDF). New Delhi. Retrieved 14 December 2015.