Introduction / History
Rawngtu people mainly live in southern Chin State, Myanmar. The Rawngtu villages in Mindat Township are Weilong, Shitwanu,Shitwatha, Lungsum, Lungpum, Kyonnam, Kyannam, Boishi, and Leishi. They also live in the villages of Thala and Yinma in Htilin Township in Magwe Division. The Rawngtu claim some villages in Matupi Township as part of their people group as well, but the people in these villages do not seem to consider themselves Rawngtu; these villages are Phaneng, Hmuntung, Ramting, Changpyang, Vuitu, Hticong, and Yakam in Matupi Township. There are perhaps 5,000 Rawngtu in all.
The Rawngtu language varieties include Kyonnam, Weilong,Shitwanu, and Boishi. The lexical similarity between the Rawngtu villages is over 90%. Intelligibility testing (using RTT) shows that comprehension of the Kyonnam variety among the other Rawngtuvarieties is quite high.
The attitudes of Rawngtu speakers in Mindat Township toward literature in the Kyonnam variety of Rawngtu seem to be positive. People from the Rawngtu villages in Mindat Township seem to accept the existing Rawngtu orthography, which is based on that variety. However, not many literature materials have been produced yet using the Rawngtu orthography.
Vitality of the Rawngtu language appears to be very strong. However, the unity of the Rawngtu language community was not very strong at the time of this survey. Community unity has been weakened by the rift between the Baptist Church and the Church of the Living God. The community will need to rebuild unity before a language development project will be able to succeed among them.
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