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By Seino van Breugel

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Many Punjabis, for instance, use their huge trucks to transport fruit in summer and coal in winter. English also has an impact on the Atong language. g. 2i and van Breugel, 2009 a). For lack of native English speakers in their direct environment, we have to assume that these words are all borrowed indirectly through the various people who sell these new modern objects and through the schools and churches where people learn about new notions and practices associated with a modern way of living. As was said above, there are two schools in the Atong language area that provide education in English, both of them in Siju.

A little away from the compound, there may be a place where water comes out continuously from the end of a pipe, lifted two or three feet off the ground with a stick or pole. This is the place where people wash themselves, their clothes and the dishes. Usually more than one household makes use of a single pipe. The pipes get their water from the nearest river, in which they are fixed with stones. Other households wash in a nearby river or stream. Those rich families that live in cement houses usually have only this one building in their compound, which contains different rooms for the functions that traditional families spread out over different structures.

The biggest groups are Sangma [sama] and Marak [mark]; Momyn [momn] (written Momin in Garo) is a smaller one, Sira [sira] is very small and there are reportedly no Atong people that belong to the group called Areng [ar]. Burling writes the following on the groups of people associated with the first surname or “sib”: “Each moiety is divided into numerous named divisions which can be called sibs. These name groups frequently include many thousands of people and extend over too wide an area for all the members to cooperate or even know of each other’s existence.

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A Grammar of Atong by Seino van Breugel


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