Assamese or Asamiya (অসমীয়া Ôxômiya) is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Assam, where it is an official language. It is one of the easternmost of the Indo-Aryan languages (only preceded by Bodo); it is spoken by over 15 million native speakers, and serves as a lingua franca in the region. It is also spoken in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeast Indian states. Nagamese, an Assamese-based Creole language is widely used in Nagalandand parts of Assam. Nefamese is an Assamese-based pidgin used in Arunachal Pradesh. Small pockets of this language speakers can be found in Bangladesh. The Indo-Aryan dialects of North Bengal and northwest Bangladesh are linguistically closer to Assamese, have cultural and literary affinities with Bengali. In the past, it was the court language of the Ahom kingdom from the 17th century.
The origin of this language is not clear. Some believe that it originated from Kamarupi Prakrit used in ancient KamarupaKingdom. However it is believed that along with other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Assamese evolved at least before 7th century CE from the middle Indo-Aryan Magadhi Prakrit, which developed from dialects similar to, but in some ways more archaic than Vedic Sanskrit. Its sister languages include Maithili, Odia, Chittagonian, Sylheti and Angika. It is written in the Assamese script, an abugidasystem, from left to right, with a large number of typographic ligatures.