Based on Linguistic Survey of India report on Sikkim
Linguistic Survey of India conducted survey in Sikkim during 1995-2000 and in 2008 (a short survey for checking purpose) on the basis of framework developed by the Language Division, Office of the Registrar General, India.
The survey covers the following languages of the states.
1. Bhotia alongwith a comparative study of Tibetan
The recent volume of Sikkim survey Part-I, does not include the description of Nepali. A detailed description of Nepali spoken in Sikkim will be given along with a comprehensive and comparative study of Nepali, surveyed in other parts of India (West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh etc.), in the volume of LSI- Sikkim (Part-II).
Sikkim government recognised Bhutia and Lepcha language at first instance as per the notification of Government of Sikkim vide Sikkim Official Language Act 1977 (Act-5.No.5 LL/77 dated 25.10.1977. The notification reads that Nepali, Bhutia, and Lepcha
languages shall be the languages for all official purpose of the state of Sikkim. Subsequently Limbu was also declared as official language of Sikkim. During the Golden Jubilee year of Indian Independence, i.e., 1997, recognition was accorded to seven more languages, namely Rai, Gurung, Newari, Mangari, Sherpa, Tamang, and Sunwar for official purposes.
ETHNIC INFORMATION OF THE COMMUNITIES UNDER SURVEY
The linguistic identity of the eleven languages covered under the present volume,
like Bhotia, Lepcha, Sherpa and Tibetan are co-terminus with their tribal names. In
Sikkim 1.Bhutia (including Chumbipa, Dopthapa, Dukpa, Kagatey, Sherpa, Tibetan,
Tromopa, Yolmo) and 2. Lepcha are the recognized Scheduled Tribes as per the
Scheduled Tribe list of Government of India, Census of India 2001.
CENSUS DATA ON LANGUAGES SURVEYED
The languages studied under Linguistic Survey of India – Sikkim (Part-I) belong to the Tibeto–Burman sub-family of Tibeto-Chinese family. As per the diagram of Sir G.A.Grierson the broad divisions of the Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in Sikkim are three Bhotia group of languages, namely, Bhotia, Tibetan and Sherpa and eight languages belonging to Himalayan group namely Lepcha, Gurung, Sunwar, Mangari, Newari, Tamang as non-pronominalised ones as well as Limbu and Rai being the pronominalised have been surveyed for the present Volume.
In 1971, Bhotia appeared under two heads namely Bhotia and Sikkim-Bhotia. The figures for both Bhotia and Sikkim Bhotia in 1971 is mentioned in the above pic.
The figures for Gurung, Mangari, Newar and Sunwar, are presented as per
their last appearance in 1961 Census. After 1961 Census the figures in respect of these langauges could not be published following the decision of the Government of India.
(To be continued)