Rajbanshi

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Gangai, Koch, Koche, Rajbangsi, Rajbansi, Tajpuria
Population

130,000 (2001 census), increasing.

Location

Mechi Zone, Jhapa district; Koshi Zone, Morang and Sunsari districts.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).

Dialects

Central Rajbanshi, Eastern Rajbanshi, Western Rajbanshi. Intelligibility is fairly high throughout the area (Eppele and Grimes 2001). Lexical similarity: 77%–95% with all varieties in Nepal (Eppele and Grimes 2001).

Typology

SOV; postpositions; noun head final; 2 noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by both case-marking and word order; verbal affixation marks person and number; non-ergative; tense and aspect; passives and voice (no morphological passive, but 2 analytical passives); nontonal; 32 consonant and 6–7 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, friends, religion, work; mixed use: Education. All ages. Positive attitudes. A majority uses Nepali [npi] and Hindi [hin] as languages of wider communication. Some also use Maithili [mai] and Bengali [ben].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 38% (1991 census). Mother-tongue multilingual education and adult literacy programs have been carried out in villages throughout the Rajbanshi area. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2009.
Writing
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Hindu, Christian.