825,000 in Nepal (2001 census), decreasing. Many women are monolingual. Population total all countries: 839,000. Ethnic population: 1,260,000 including 1,245,000 Newar plus 11,500 Pahari.
Widespread. Kathmandu valley; many urban areas. Fewer far west. Also in India.
3 (Wider communication). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).
Badikhel Pahari, Baglung, Balami, Bhaktapur, Citlang, Dolkhali (Dolakha), Gopali, Kathmandu-Patan-Kirtipur, Pyang Gaon, Sindhupalchok Pahri (Pahari, Pahri), Totali. The Dolakhae dialect of Dolakha has complex person-number verb agreement with residue reflex in the Pahari dialect of Badikhel. These two dialects are not fully intelligible to the speakers of Kathmandu Valley where the language has a simple conjunct-disjunct agreement. Kirtipur and Lalitpur are similar to Kathmandu. Bhaktapur people mostly understand Kathmandu despite some lexical differences. The Eastern Newar dialects, including at least Dolakha and Tauthali, are mutually unintelligible with the dialects of the Kathmandu Valley. The same may also be true of Pahri of Sindhupalchok and other varieties. Some vocabulary differences between Hindus and Buddhists.
SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, demonstratives before noun heads; noun heads final; 4 noun classes: animate, inanimate, common, honored; content q-word in situ; relatives before and without noun heads; in polar questions there is a particle sentence finally; 1 prefix, up to 3 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number (in Dolakha and Badikhel dialects); affixes or clitics indicate case of noun phrases; ergative; causatives; comparatives; tense and aspect; no passives or voice; V, VC, CV, CVC, CCV, CCVC; nontonal; 28 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes
One of the principal languages of Nepal; historically an official language of the Newar Malla Kings of the three cities of Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu is the prestige dialect with most published materials. English [eng] highly valued; mixed feelings about Hindi [hin]; Tibetan [bod] does not have high prestige. People learn whichever language will help them economically: Nepali [npi], English [eng], Hindi [hin], and others. Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim.