Zemeic languages

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Western Naga
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan

The Zemeic or Zeliangrong[2] languages are a branch of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken mostly in Peren district of Nagaland state, Dima Hasao district of Assam state, and Tamenglong district of Manipur state, northeast India. Conventionally classified as "Naga", they are not clearly related to other Naga languages, and are conservatively classified as an independent branch of Sino-Tibetan, pending further research.

Ethnologue gives the name Western Naga for the Zeme languages.


The Zemeic languages are:

  • Zeme cluster (Zeme proper, a.k.a. Empeo; Liangmai (Kwoireng))
  • Rongmei, aka Kabui, Ruanglat or Songbu
  • Mzieme (Northern Zeme)
  • Puiron (Inpui)
  • Khoirao (Thangal)
  • Maram

The Zeme and Rongmei language clusters are close enough to sometimes be considered dialects of a single Zeliang language.

Van Driem (2011) lists the varieties, from south to north, as:

Mzieme, Khoirao, Maram, Puiron, Zeme (also known as Empeo Naga, Kacha Naga, Kochu Naga), Nruanghmei (also known as Rongmei, Kabui), Liangmai (also known as Kwoireng)

(Inpui and Puimei, which are sometimes listed, are not distinct.)[1]


  1. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Zemeic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Mortensen, David R. (2003). “Comparative Tangkhul.” Unpublished Qualifying Paper, UC Berkeley.
  • George van Driem (2001) Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region. Brill.