|Region||Wokha district, Nagaland|
|179,467 (2001 census)|
The Lotha language is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Ao subgroup spoken by approximately 180,000 people in Wokha district of west-central Nagaland. It is centered in the small district of Wokha (capital Wokha). This district has more than 114 villages such as Pangti, Maraju (Merapani), Englan, Baghty (Pakti) and others, where the language is widely spoken and studied.
Alternate names include Chizima, Choimi, Hlota, Kyong, Lhota, Lotha, Lutha, Miklai, Tsindir, and Tsontsii (Ethnologue).
Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Lotha.
In the Linguistic Survey of India, linguist George Abraham Grierson analyzed various branches of languages in India and categorized various Naga languages into three groups: Western Naga, Eastern Naga, and Central Naga. Lotha falls into the Central Naga group, which also includes the languages Ao, Sangtam, and Yimchungru.
Orthography and literature
Lotha is written in the Latin script, introduced by the British and American missionaries in the late 19th century. It is a medium of education up to the post-graduate level in the state of Nagaland. It is also the language in which the church sermons are preached. The Bible has been translated into the Lotha language, adding significantly to its vocabulary, which had an influence of Assamese and Hindi. The language has been carried to all parts of the country by the waves of emigrants.
- "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lotha Naga". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Kumar, Braj Bihari (1 January 2005). Naga Identity. Concept Publishing Company. p. 75. ISBN 978-81-8069-192-8.