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Languages  play  an important role in shaping human culture. In India, language diversity  is abundant. However, in recent decades,  due to factors including colonization, and globalization, numerous communities face the threat of their language being endangered and eventually extinct. Experts believe one of the major reasons for languages becoming endangered or extinct is because individuals and communities are moving to economically more powerful languages. Also, many languages in India do not have a writing tradition, due to which their loss cannot be recorded.

Here are the languages that are extinct in our country. Kindly note: This list does not include many ancient languages that have not been documented. Sources: www.unesco.org, www.ethnologue.com

  Language Region Alternative names
1. Ahom Assam. Ahom used to be spoken by the Ahom people who ruled most of Assam from 1228 to 1826. It was then the sole court language of the Ahom kingdom and it enjoyed this status till about the 15th 16th century, when it made way for Assamese. The language fell into complete disuse by the 19th century and even the phonemics of this Ahom language has been lost completely. It is not spoken in daily life but used in religious chants and literary materials. Tai Ahom
2. Akar – Bale Andaman Islands, Ritchie’s Archipelago Bale, Balwa
3. Aka-Bea Andaman Islands, South Andaman Island except northeast coast, and north and east interiors; Rutland Island except south coast; small islands southeast of Rutland; Labyrinth Islands. Aka-Beada, Bea, Beada, Biada, Bogijiab, Bojigniji, Bojigyab
4. Aka – Bo Andaman Islands, east central coast of North Andaman Island, North Reef Island. Ba, Bo
5. Aka-Cari Andaman Islands, north coast of North Andaman Island, Landfall Island, other nearby small islands. Cari, Chariar
6. Aka-Jeru Andaman Islands, interior and south North Andaman Island, Sound Island. Jeru, Yerawa
7. Aka-Kede Andaman Islands, central and north central Middle Andaman Island Kede
8. Aka-Kol Andaman Islands, southeast Middle Andaman Island. Kol
9. Aka-Kora Andaman Islands, northeast and north central coasts of North Andaman Island, Smith Island. Kora
10. Andro Manipur – Became extinct in the 20th century. Phayeng
11. Malaryan Kerala- Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam districts, and Trichur district in Tamil Nadu.Malai Arayan was a classical Dravidian language that was spoken by people in the Tamil Nadu-Kerala hill areas. Even today, the community that spoke the language is called by the same name. These people mostly went on to speak dialects of Tamil or Malayalam. Arayans, Karingal, Malai Arayan, Malayarayan, Malayarayar, Male Arayans, Maley Arayan, Vazhiyammar.
12. Oko-Juwoi Andaman Islands, west central and southwest interior Middle Andaman Island. Junoi, Juwoi, Oku-Juwoi
13. Pali Used as the literary language of the Buddhist Scriptures.
14. Rangkas Uttarakhand, Pithoragarh District, Johar Valley, Darchula and Munsyari tahsils, facing Nepal border along Mahakali Valley. Rangkas people have merged their identity with the dominant Kumaoni people and the language has been replaced by Kumaoni. Rangkas sometimes refers to the whole group of Darmiya, Chaudangsi, Byangsi, and the now extinct Johari. Canpa, Chyanam, Johari, Kyonam, Saukas, Saukiya Khun, Shaukas.
15. Sengmai Manipur district. Sekmai
16. Turung Assam- Golaghat District, Titabar district and Karbi Anglong district Tai Turung, Tailung, Tairong
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