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Tiwa-English Dictionary - Salesian Linguist's Monumental Work Released


By Dianetious F.
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Shillong, Mar. 31. An 864-page Tiwa-English Dictionary (with English-Tiwa Index), compiled by noted linguist and polyglot Dr. (Fr) U V Jose,SDB was released by Rt Rev Paul Mattekkat DD, Bishop of Diphu, on 29 March 2014 at Umswai in the Karbi Anglong District of Assam. A large number of Tiwas from several villages around Umswai gathered to witness the release of what they called a 'truly monumental contribution to Tiwa culture and language'. Tiwa is spoken by the Tiwa tribe of Assam in Northeast India. The  function also showcased many Tiwa cultural dances and songs.
Among the many dignitaries who attended the program were Paul Olphindro, the vice-provincial of the Silchar region of the Don Bosco Educational Society and Mr. D Uphing Maslai, who is a Tiwa and a member of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council. The Tiwas felt moved that two of U V Jose's sisters, Joel CMC and Judith CMC, made it a point to be present for this momentous occasion, having travelled thousands of kilometers from Kerala.

The large dictionary is the result of more than three years of painstaking and minute research, in which Dr. U V Jose was helped by Horsingh Kholar, Alfred Maslai, Juliana Maslai and Bibiana Maslai. Dr. Jose who holds a doctorate in linguistics has been associated with Tiwa for sixteen years. His analysis and understanding of Tiwa is also aided by his knowledge of other akin languages like Garo, Boro and Rabha, as well as Khasi, Karbi, Assamese and Hindi with which Tiwa has had and continues to have much contact.  
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