Kokborok Grammar

Kokborok Grammar

Kokborok is language of the Bodo sub-group of the Tibeto-Burman sub-family of the Sino-Tibetan ( Indochinese ) Linguistic family. It is an official language of Tripura, a state of India.


The principal structures of affirmative sentences in Kokborok are the following:

a) Subject Complement Naisok chwrai kaham. (Naisok) (boy good). Naisok is a good boy.

b) Subject Object Verb Naisok mai chao. (Naisok) (rice) (eat). Naisok eats rice.

c) Possessive Subject Question Nini mung tamo? (Your) (name) (what) What is your name?

d) Subject Question Verb Nwng tamoni bagwi phai? (You) (what for) (come) Why have you come?

e) Subject Verb+Question Nwng thangnaide? (You) (will go) Will you go?

f) Subject Verb+Command Nwng thangdi. (You) (go) You go.



In Kokborok grammar use of the notion of 'person' is almost absent; the form of verb is same for one who speaks , one who is spoken to, and one who is spoken about.


In Kokborok there are two numbers: Singular and plural. The plural marker is used at the end of the noun/ pronoun. There are two plural markers: "rok" and "song". "Rok" is universally used while "song" is used with human nouns only.The plural marker is normally used at the end of the noun/pronoun. But when the noun has an adjective the plural marker is used at the end of the adjective instead of the noun.eg:

a) "Bwrwirok Teliamura o thangnai". These women will go to Teliamura.

b) "O bwrwi naithokrok kaham rwchabo". These beautiful women sing very well.


In Kokborok there are four genders: masculine gender, feminine gender, common gender, and neuter gender. Words which denote male are masculine, words which denote female are feminine, words which can be both male and female are common gender, and words which cannot be either masculine or feminine and neuter gender.eg, "borok" - man - masculine "bwrwi" - woman - feminine "chwrai" - child - common "buphang" - tree - neuter

There are various ways to change genders of words:Using different words. "bwsai" - husband "bihik" - wife "phayung" - brother "hanok" - sister "kiching" - male friend "mare" - female friend

Adding "in" at the end of the masculine word. When the masculine words ends in "a", the "a" is dropped.

"sikla" - young man "sikli" - young woman "achu" - grandfather "achui" - grandmother

Adding "jwk" at the end of the masculine word.

"bwsa" - son "bwsajwk" - daughter "kwra" - father-in-law "kwrajwk" - mother-in-law

Words of common gender are made masculine by adding suffixes, like "sa", "chwla", "jua" and feminine by adding "ma", "jwk", "bwrwi".

"pun" - goat "punjua" - he goat "punjuk" - she goat "tok" - fowl "tokchwla" - cock "tokma" - hen "takhum" - swan "takhumchwla" - drake "takhumbwrwi" - duck

Case and case endings

In Kokborok there are the nominative, accusative, instrumental, ablative, locative and possessive cases.

The case endings are the following: Nominative: "o" Accusative: "no" Instrumental: "hai" Ablative: "ni" Locative: "o" Possessive: "ni"These case endings are used at the end of the noun/pronoun and there is no change in the form of the noun.


In Kokborok the adjectives come after the words they qualify. This rule is strictly followed only in the case of native adjectives. In case of loan adjectives the rule is rather loose. Kokborok adjectives may be divided into four classes:

a) pure adjectives

b) compound adjectives

c) verbal adjectives

d) K-adjectives

The first three classes may include both native and loan words. The fourth class is made of purely native words.eg:

a) "hilik" - heavy, "heleng" - light

b) "bwkha kotor" - (heart big) - brave, "bwkha kusu" - (heart small) - timid

c) "leng" - tire, "lengjak" - tired,"ruk" - to boil, "rukjak" - boiled.

d) "kaham" - good, "kotor" - big, "kisi" - wet.


Kokborok numerals are both decimal and vigesimal."sa, nwi, tham, brwi, ba, dok, sni, char, chuku, chi"

"rasa" - hundred, "saisa" - thousand, "rwjag" - a lakh

Numeral is organised as:

"chisa" = "chi" + "sa" = ten + one = 11.


ee also

* Kokborok
* Tripuri
* Chinese language
* Burmese language
* Languages of India


* "A simplified Kokborok Grammar, by Prof. Prabhas Chandra Dhar, 1987"

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