Gallong language

"Galo language" redirects here. For the regional language of France, see Gallo language.
Not to be confused with Karko language (Sudan).
Galo Adi
Native to Arunachal Pradesh, India
Native speakers
62,000 (2001 census)[1]
  • Tani

    • Western Tani
      • Subansiri
        • Galo
  • ?Karka
  • ?Gensi
  • Taipodia
  • Zɨrdo
  • Lare
  • Pugo
Language codes
ISO 639-3 adl
Glottolog galo1242[2]

The Gallong or Galo language is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Tani group, spoken by the Galo people. Its precise position within Tani is not yet certain, primarily because of its central location in the Tani area and the strong effects of intra-Tani contacts on the development of Tani languages. It is an endangered language according to the normal definitions, but prospects for its survival are better than many similarly-placed languages in the world.


The major Galo dialects are Pugo, spoken around the district capital Aalo; Lare, spoken to the south of Aaloo; and a dialect that can provisionally be called "Northwestern", spoken in the northwest near the Tagin area. There may be additional Galo dialects further north, which remains largely unresearched. There are numerous subdialects that often correspond to regional or clan groupings. Neighbouring languages include Assamese, Nepali, Bodo, Mising, Minyong, Hills Miri, Tagin, Nishi, Bori, Pailibo, Ramo and Bokar.

Post (2007:46) lists a provisional classification of Galo dialects.


Like most central and eastern Tani languages, Galo is largely synthetic and agglutinating. Two primary lexical tones are present – High and Low – which may reflect two Proto-Tani syllable tones; in modern Galo, the surface TBU (Tone-Bearing Unit) is the usually polysyllabic phonological word. A robust finite/non-finite asymmetry underlies Galo grammar, and clause chaining and nominalization are both rampant. No synchronic verb-serialization appears to exist, although what seems to have been proto-verb-serialization has developed into a very large and productive system of derivational suffixes to bound verbal roots.

Major (non-derived) lexical classes are noun, adjective and verb. Other grammatical features include postpositions, relator nouns, classifiers, an extremely large system of aspectual suffixes, and a rich set of constituent-final particles coding functions related to epistemological status (such as evidentiality), discourse/pragmatic status, modality, and other related functions. Case-marking is basically accusative; ergativity has not been found.

See also


  1. Galo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Galo". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Further reading

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