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1. Introduction

Nagaland became a full-fledged state in India on December1, 1963. Between December 1, 1957 and December 1, 1963, the area consisting of the present Nagaland was known as Naga Hills and Tuensang area (NHTA). Prior to 1957, Naga Hills formed a district of Assam, some parts of the Tuensang area in the North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA) now redesigned as Arunachal Pradesh and the rest were unadministered area. The Zunheboto district, the main centre of the Semas, were in the administered area nd formed part of the Naga Hills. Till December 20, 1973, Zunheboto sub-division, consisting almost exclusively of Semas, was administered by an additional Deputy Commissioner, under Mukokchung District. On the basis of language and ethnic consideration a few additional districts in Nagaland were created by the state Government and the Zunheboto sub-division became a fulfledged district from December 20, 1973. Kohima situated at a height of 4,800 feet was the headquarters of the NHTA and now is the capital of Nagaland. Nagaland has in the east a long international border with Burma. It borders Manipur in the south, Assam in the west and north west and Arunachal Pradesh in the north west. It has an area of 6,366 square miles iwth a population of 5,16,4491. The population of Nagaland consists of 232 indigenous speech communities and a few immigrant communities from the other parts of India. The indigenous Naga communities form 94%3 of the states population. Of these the Semas rank the third position with a population of 65,2274. The first and the second places go to the Konyaks and the Aos with a population respectively of 72,338 and 65,275. The Angamis who wield a great deal of political influence in the state rank only a fourth place with a poupulation of 43,569.

Nagas are a sub-group of the Tibeto-Burman Community. According to Marrison (1967: 196) the origion of this community
1.Census of India, 1971, Series, India paper 1 of 1972 A. Chandra Sekhar, Delhi.
2.Naga Pidgin: A sociolinguistc study of Inter-lingual communication pattern in Nagaland.
M.V. Sreedhar : 1974, p: 12 Mysore.
3.Bulletin of the Government of Nagaland: Kohima (not dated)
4.Census Centenary Monograph No. 10.1966.
appears to have been in Eastern Tibet and Western China and the general trend of their movement has been southwards along the line of Valleys of this region where the great rivers of south-East Asia have their beginnings. The Tibeto-Burmans who in the course of this movement entered the Naga Hills made their first entries at different points, and penetrated them in various directions, viz:
(I) From Tibet through the Dihand (Brahmaputra) valley across the upper Assam valley and thence into northern Naga Hills.
(II) From northern Burma, across the Patkoi range into the northern Naga Hills.
(III) From north-east Burma, across the river chindwin up the Nantaleik (Tizu) valley,into the Central Naga Hills.
(iv)From Manipur valley northwards, to the southern Naga Hills and onwards by the Doyang valley; and
(v)From the Manipur valley and thence by the upper Borak valley into the Barail range.Some of these movements have been described earlier by Hutton (1921).

Sema is a Naga language belonging to the Sino-Tibetan family of language. The Sino-Tibetan family of language can be conveniently sub-divided into two sub-families, viz: Siamese-Chinese and Tibeto-Burman (TB). The most important feature that marks out the TB sub-family from that of the Siamese-Chinese is the difference in the arrangement of the word-order, i.e. whereas the Siamese-Chinese sub-family has the subject-verb-object pattern, the TB sub-family has the subject object-verb-pattern, a Pan Indian feature found with Munda, Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages spoken in India. The TB Sub-family of language in the first instance may be sub-classified into three, viz: Tibeto-Himalayan, Assam-Burmese and North-Assam branches. Of these, the Assam-Burmese branch which has the largest number of language is further sub-divided into six groups viz: Bodo, Naga, Kuki-Chin, Kachin, Burmese, Lolo Mso’s and Sak or Lui. Of these six groups Bodo and Naga groups are closely connected to the Tibeto-Himalayan branch. In addition to these six groups, there are two intermediate groups groups showing points of contact with Naga group and others. These are Naga-Bodo and Naga-Kuki. Mikir is the principal Naga-Bodo language, others in this group includes Kabui, Zemi and Khoriao. Theprincipal Naga-Kuki languages include, Thanghkul, Mao,







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