A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Athpagari, Athpahariya, Athpare, Athpariya, Belhare

3,500 (2002 UNESCO), decreasing.


Koshi Zone, Dhankuta district, Belhara village and hill west of Dhankuta Bajar.

Language Status

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

Language Use

Many parents only use Nepali [npi] with their children, citing advantages for economic and social success. Religion; mixed use: Home, friends, work. Adults and elderly. Some use among children and adolescents. Negative attitudes. All also use Nepali [npi] (Bickel 1996).

Language Development
About 5 speakers are literate in their mother tongue. Dictionary. Grammar.
Devanagari script, recently developed.
Other Comments

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.