3,500 (2002 UNESCO), decreasing.
Koshi Zone, Dhankuta district, Belhara village and hill west of Dhankuta Bajar.
6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C), Rai nationality.
Different from Athpariya [aph], although also called and closely related to it (Winter 1991). Not intelligible with Athpariya although Athpariya speakers claim full intelligibility (Bickel 1996:21).
SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no genders; content q-word in situ; up to 3 prefixes, up to 10 suffixes, and several clitics; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; passives and voice; nontonal; 22 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes
Athpare refers to the ethnic group made up of Belhare and Athpariya which have close cultural ties, but who recognize their linguistic differences. They clarify by calling the Dhankuta people Noupagari and the Belhare people Athpagari (Bickel 1996). Traditional religion, Hindu.