Sylheti language resources
Sylheti is spoken on a daily basis in: Bangladesh
Additional background on
Sylheti (native name ????? Sil˘ti; Bengali name ?????? Sileti) is the language of Sylhet proper, the North Eastern region of Bangladesh and southern districts of Assam around Silchar. It is also spoken by a significant population in the other north-eastern states of India and amongst the large expatriate communities in the UK, USA, Canada and the Middle East. It is similar enough to Bengali (Bangla) to be considered a dialect of that language, but at times it is probably better seen as a separate language. Given that Sylhet was part of the ancient kingdom of Kamarupa, the language has many common features with Assamese, including the existence of a larger set of fricatives than other East Indic languages. According to Grierson, "The inflections also differ from those of regular Bengali, and in one or two instances assimilate to those of Assamese". Indeed it was formerly written in its own script, Sylheti Nagari, similar in style to Kaithi but with differences. Now it is almost invariably written in Bengali script.
Sylheti is distinguished by a wide range of fricative sounds (which correspond to aspirated stops in closely-related languages such as Bangla), the lack of breathy voiced stops seen in many other Indic languages, word-final stress, and a relatively large set of loanwords from Arabic, Hindi and Persian. Sylheti is spoken by about 10 percent of Bangladeshis, but has affected the course of standard Bengali in the rest of the state.
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All data is derived from UNESCO.