Native to Arunachal Pradesh
Native speakers
unknown (2006)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nef
Glottolog nefa1235[2]

Nefamese (also Arunamese) is a nearly extinct pidgin of Arunachal Pradesh (formerly NEFA), India. Its classification is unclear; Ethnologue states that it is based on the Indic language Assamese, but also that it is most closely related to the Sino-Tibetan Gallong. It has also been influenced by Hindi and English.

Nefamese emerged in eastern Arunachal Pradesh as a lingua franca among the Nishi, Adi, Apatanai, Khampti, Hill Miri, Idu Mishimi, Nocte, Wanchu, Tagin, Mompa, Zakhring, Apatani, and Bugun peoples, among others—between them and with outsiders. The language is threatened by, and has perhaps been replaced by, the use of Hindi.


Nefamese has six vowel phonemes, eighteen consonant phonemes and six diphthongs.[3]


  1. Nefamese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Nefamese". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. (Bhuyan 2012, p. 232)


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