Kham, Western Parbate

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Kham-Magar, Takale, Takale Kham, Western Parbate
Population

24,500 (2003 SIL), increasing. 27,100 all Kham languages in Nepal (2011 census).

Location

Rapti Zone, Rukum and Rolpa districts. Taka-Shera is center. Karnali Zone, Dolpa district.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Lukumel, Mahatale, Maikoti, Takale, Thabangi, Wale. Reportedly greatest similarities between Eastern [kif] and Western Parbate [kjl]. Parbate, Sheshi, and Gamale groups are all inherently unintelligible. Position of Mahatale and Miruli within the Kham linguistic group is undecided. Lexical similarity: 71% with Gamale Kham [kgj] and Eastern Parbate [kif]; 58% with Bhujel Kham, 51% with Sheshi [kip]. 25% with Magar and Gurung, slightly below 25% with the Tibetan group, 15% with the Rai and Limbu groups.

Typology

SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, numerals, relatives before noun heads; noun heads final; no noun classes or genders; maximum number for nouns: 1 prefix, 8 suffixes; for verbs: 5 prefixes, 7 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; case marked on NPs by affixes; verbal affixation marks person and number of subject and object—obligatory; split ergative; detransitivization common, some of which is passive-like; a kind of semantic inverse marked in verb morphology; passives and voice; causatives; applicatives; (C)V(V)(C) where the second V is a dipthong or long vowel; tonal.

Language Use

Vigorous in the villages in Rukum. Home, friends, religion, work. All ages. Speakers use Nepali [npi] only when outside their homeland. Young men are most proficient, older adult women the least. Most can discuss common topics in Nepali.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Some. Literacy rate in L2: Some. Poetry. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1985.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Different from the Khams of eastern Tibet as spoken by the Khampa. Previously migrated in summer to the foot of glaciers on west end of Dhaulagiri massif, and in winter to Rolpa District southern hills. Traditional religion, Buddhist.