Bhujel

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Bujal, Bujhel, Bujheli, Bujhyal, “Gharti” (pej.), Pukhgyal Ngur, Western Chepang
Population

3,900 (Regmi 2007), decreasing. No monolinguals. Ethnic population: 7,200 (Regmi 2007).

Location

Gandaki Zone, Tanahun district, Kulmun, Arthumpka, Andimul, and Baniyatar; Gorkha district, Beltar; Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi district, Dhodeni; Narayani Zone, Chitwan district, Chanaute. Separated from Chepang [cdm] language areaby Trisuli river.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).

Dialects

Andimul, Arthumpka, Baniyatar, Beltar, Chanaute, Dhodeni, Kulmun. More than 80% intelligibility among all the dialects. Pronominal affix differences hinder intelligibility with Chepang [cdm]. Lexical similarity: Between 34% (2011 D. Regmi) and 98% (Caughley 2004) with Chepang [cdm].

Typology

SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, numerals, before noun heads; relatives before or without noun heads; noun head final; content q-word in situ; question word final; no noun classes or genders; 1 prefix, up to 5 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; consistently ergative; anti-dative marking; affixes indicate case of noun phrase; verb affixation marks person, number and direct relations; no passives or voice; causatives; comparatives; CV to CCCVCCC with certain restrictions; non-tonal; 31 consonant and 16 vowel (including 6 diphthongs) phonemes

Language Use

Shifting to Nepali [npi] (2007). Home; mixed use: Work, education. Older adults and elderly. Positive attitudes. Youth use some Nepali [npi].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 15% in Nepali [npi]. Grammar.
Writing
Devanagari script, recently developed.
Other Comments

Similar culturally to Magar and Gurung living near the Bhujel. Gharti is a sub-caste name associated with former slavery. Bhujels reject the name, but outsiders often use it. Hindu, Buddhist, Christian.