Rajbanshi

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A language of Nepal

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

143,000 (2011 census), increasing. 2,080 Koche, 122,000 Rajbanshi, 18,800 Tajpuriya. L2 users: 3,220 (1991 census).

Location

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

Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Rajbanshi (Koch).

Dialects

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

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. Also use Bengali [ben], Hindi [hin], Maithili [mai], Nepali [npi]. Used as L2 by Dhimal [dhi].

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 [Deva].

Other Comments

Hindu, Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.