Kuke

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Bhotte, Kutang, Kutang Ghale
Population

1,300 (1992).

Location

Gandaki Zone, north Gorkha district, Bihi VDC, Dyang, Rana, Bihi, Ghap, Chak, Kwak, and Krak villages.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Bihi, Chak, Rana. Varieties spoken in Chhak and Kwak villages are similar to each other and different from all other villages. Lexical similarity: 62%–76% among dialects, 39%–49% with Southern Ghale [ghe], 45%–61% with Northern Ghale [ghh], 18% with Western (Banspur) Gurung [gvr], 16%–23% with Tamang varieties, 13%–31% with Nubri [kte], 23%–27% with Tsum [ttz], 22%–27% with Kyerung (Kyirong) [kgy], 19%–24% with Tibetan [bod].

Typology

SOV

Language Use

Vigorous. Some Tibetan religious books translated into Kuke by priests. Home, friends; mixed use: Work. All ages. Positive attitudes. Minimal bilingual proficiency in Bihi village in Tibetan [bod] and Nepali [npi]. Nepali used to communicate with Northern [ghh] and Southern [ghe] Ghale speakers. Many are bilingual in Nubri [kte]. Nubri is used since many Nubri speakers do not use Kuke.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Some can read Kuke in Tibetan script. Literacy rate in L2: 5%.
Writing
Tibetan script.
Other Comments

Referred to as thieves’ language, a mixture of nearby languages. Buddhist (Lamaist), Hindu, Christian.