Wayu

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Bayu, Hayu, Vayu, Wayo
Population

1,520 (2011 census), decreasing. No monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,800 (2001 census).

Location

Janakpur Zone, Ramechhap district, Mudajor and Sukajor villages; Sindhuli district, Manedihi village. Sun Koshi valley across Mahabharat range south.

Language Status

7 (Shifting). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Hayu.

Dialects

Sindhuli, Marin Khola.

Typology

SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; tense; no passives or voice; nontonal; 27 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Ethnic Wayu live on the hills on both sides of the Sun Kosi River but the language is only spoken in the villages listed. In 1995 many children in Mudajor were not learning Wayu but the language was alive and well in Manedihi (2002 UNESCO). A growing interest in language preservation. Religion; mixed use: Home, friends. Older adults and elderly. Some use among young adults. Negative attitudes. All also use Nepali [npi].

Language Development
Grammar.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Strong Nepali [npi] influences in phonology, lexicon, and grammar (Matisoff 1991). Traditional religion, Hindu.

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