Assamese or 'Ahomiya' developed into a
literary language as late as 13th century AD. Assamese is the most widely
spoken language of Assam and is spoken by nearly 60% of the state's
population. The language has close affinities to Bengali or Bangla.
Influenced By Various Languages & Dialects
The language however is surrounded on all sides by different speeches of the Tibeto-Burman, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Chinese families. Of these, the Tibeto-Burman family, which contains a wide variety of racial cells, is by far the largest.
The Bodo language group, to which belong the Kacharis, Rabhas, Lalungs, Morans and Chutiyas to some extent, dominates the Tibeto-Burman family. Most of these tribes have different dialects, both spoken and written, but all of them have tremendously contributed to the formation, development and growth of the Assamese language.
The origin of the Assamese language dates back to antiquity. Scholars are of the view that the language originated from the eastern variety of 'Magadhan Prakrit'. It is by all standards a composite language into which words of Indo-Aryan, Indo-Chinese as well as Tibeto-Burman origins have made their way.
Besides, other pre-Aryan and non-Aryan influences are also discernible, not only in loan words, but also in point of grammar, syntax and pronunciation. The earliest specimens of Assamese script are provided by copper plates and inscriptions discovered in different areas of the origin.
Besides Assamese, other recognised Indian languages spoken in the State are Bengali and Hindi. The major indigenous languages other than Assamese are Bodo, Karbi, Mishing, and Rabha etc.