Sema language

Sümi (Naga)
Pronunciation [sɨ˩ mi˧]
Native to India
Region Nagaland
Ethnicity Sumi Naga
Native speakers
104,000 (2001 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nsm
Glottolog sumi1235[2]

Sema, also Sumi or Simi, is an Angami–Pochuri language spoken in Nagaland, India. It is spoken by the Sumi Naga people.[3][4]

Geographical distribution

Sumi is spoken in central and southern Nagaland, in Zunheboto district, Kohima district, Mokokchung district, and Tuensang district, as well as in 7 villages of Tinsukia district, Assam (Ethnologue).


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Sema.


The transcriptions in this section use the International Phonetic Alphabet.


Monophthongs of Sema, from Teo (2012:368)

The vowels of Sema are as follows:[5][6]

Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Mid e o
Open a



The consonants of Sema are as follows[6][10] (allophones that are represented in the orthographic system are given in parentheses):

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal plain m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k q
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless (ts) ()
aspirated (tsʰ) tʃʰ
Fricative voiceless f (s) ʃ x h
voiced v (z) ʒ ɣ
Approximant central plain (w) ɹ j
lateral l


  1. Sema at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Sumi Naga". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Sreedhar (1976).
  4. Sreedhar (1980).
  5. 1 2 3 Teo (2012), p. 369.
  6. 1 2 Teo (2014), p. 20.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Teo (2012), p. 368.
  8. 1 2 Teo (2014), p. 27.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Teo (2014), p. 28.
  10. Teo (2012), p. 366.


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