Phake language

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia
(Redirected from Tai Phake language)

Native toIndia
EthnicityTai Phake people
Native speakers
2,000 (2007)[1]
Burmese script
(Phake variation,
called Lik-Tai)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3phk

The Phake language (phaa-kay) or Tai Phake language is spoken in the Buri Dihing Valley of Assam, India.


Tai Phake Villages (Morey 2005:22)
Tai name Translation of Tai name Assamese/English name District
ma꞉n3 pha꞉4 ke꞉5 taü3 Lower Phake village Namphakey Dibrugarh
ma꞉n3 pha꞉k4 ta꞉5 Other side of the river village Tipam Phake Dibrugarh
ma꞉n3 pha꞉4 ke꞉5 nɔ6 Upper Phake village Borphake Tinsukia
niŋ1 kam4 Ning kam Nagas Nigam Phake Tinsukia
ma꞉n3 pha꞉4 naiŋ2 Red sky village Faneng Tinsukia
məŋ2 la꞉ŋ2 Country of the Lang Nagas Mounglang Tinsukia
məŋ2 mɔ1 Mine village Man Mau Tinsukia
ma꞉n3 loŋ6 Big village Man Long Tinsukia
nauŋ1 lai6 Nong Lai Nagas Nonglai -

(Note: For an explanation of the notation system for Tai tones, see Proto-Tai language#Tones.)

The maːn˧ corresponds to the modern Thai บ้าน, ban, and Shan ဝၢၼ်ႈ wan which corresponds to 'village'.

Buragohain (1998) lists the following Tai Phake villages.

  • Man Phake Tau (Namphake village, Assam)
  • Man Tipam (Tipam Phake village, Assam)
  • Man Phake Neu (Bor Phake village, Assam)
  • Man Mo (Man Mo village, Assam)
  • Man Phaneng (Phaneng village, Assam)
  • Man Long (Long village, Assam)
  • Man Nonglai (Nonglaui village, Assam)
  • Man Monglang (Monglang village, Assam)
  • Man Nigam (Nigam village, Assam)
  • Man Wagun (Wagun village, Arunachal Pradesh)
  • Man Lung Kung (Lung Kung village, Arunachal Pradesh)


Initial consonants[edit]

Tai Phake has the following initial consonants:[3]

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiceless
Plosive Tenuis p t c k ʔ
Nasal m n ŋ
Fricative s h
Lateral l
Semi-vowel w j

Final consonants[edit]

Tai Phake has the following final consonants:

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
voiceless voiced voiceless voiced voiced voiceless voiced voiceless
Plosive Tenuis p t k ʔ
Nasal m n ŋ
Semi-vowel w j

-[w] occurs after front vowels and [a]-, -[j] occurs after back vowels and [a]-.[2]


Tai Phake has the following vowel inventory:[4]

Front Back
unr. unr. rnd.
short short long short
Close i ɯ u
Mid e ɤ o
Open ɛ a a: ɔ

Writing system[edit]

The Tai Phake have their own writing system called 'Lik-Tai', which they share with the Khamti people and Tai Aiton people.[2] It closely resembles the Northern Shan script of Myanmar, which is a variant of the Burmese script, with some of the letters taking divergent shapes.[5]


  • က - kaa - k - [k]
  • ၵ - khaa - kh - [kʰ]
  • င - ngaa - ng - [ŋ]
  • ꩡ - chaa - ch - [t͡ʃ], [t͡s]
  • ꩬ - saaa - s - [s]
  • ၺ - nyaa - ny - [ɲ][6]
  • တ - taa - t - [t]
  • ထ - thaa - th - [tʰ]
  • ꩫ - naa - n - [n]
  • ပ - paa - p - [p]
  • ၸ - phaa - ph - [pʰ]
  • မ - maa - m - [m]
  • ယ - yaa - y - [j]
  • လ - laa - l - [l]
  • ဝ - waa - w - [w~v]
  • ꩭ - haa - h - [h]
  • ဢ - aa - a - [ʔ]


  • ႊ - a - [a]
  • ႃ - ā - [aː]
  • ိ - i - [i]
  • ီ - ī - [iː]
  • ု - u - [u]
  • ူ - ū - [uː]
  • ေ - e/ae - [eː/ɛ]
  • ႝ - ai - [ai]
  • ေႃ - o/aw - [oː/ɔː]
  • ံ - ṁ - [am]
  • ုံ - um - [um]
  • ွံ - om - [ɔm]
  • ိုဝ် - eu - [ɛu]
  • ်ႍ - au - [au]
  • ်ွ - āu - [aːu]
  • ွ - aw - [ɒ]
  • ွႝ - oi - [oj]
  • ် - final consonant [7]


  1. Phake at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Diller, Anthony (1992). "Tai languages in Assam: Daughters or Ghosts": 16. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Diller, Anthony (1992). "Tai languages in Assam: Daughters or Ghosts": 14. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. Morey, Stephen (2008). "The Tai Languages of Assam". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. Inglis, Douglas (2017). "Myanmar-based Khamti Shan Orthography". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. "Tai Phake language, alphabet, and pronunciation". Omniglot. Retrieved 18 February 2021.


  • Buragohain, Yehom. 1998. "Some notes on the Tai Phakes of Assam, in Shalardchai Ramitanondh Virada Somswasdi and Ranoo Wichasin." In Tai, pp. 126–143. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Chiang Mai University.
  • Morey, Stephen. 2005. The Tai languages of Assam: a grammar and texts. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

Template:Tai-Kadai languages

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