258,000 in Nepal (2003), increasing. Mostly illiterate older women are monolingual. Population for all Tharu varieties: 1,331,500 (2001 census).
Koshi Zone, Morang and Sunsari districts; Sagarmatha Zone, Saptari, Udayapur, and Siraha districts; Janakpur Zone, Mahottari, Sarlahi and Dhanusa districts. Also in India.
5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).
Dhanusa, Mahottari, Morangiya, Saptari, Sarlahi, Siraha, Sunsari, Udayapur. Each district has a different variety. Dialect names refer to districts.
SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no gender; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 3 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person; tense and aspect; passives (syntactic, not morphological); nontonal; 32 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes
Tharu from each district usually take the district name as a more specific name or identity. Other Tharu in Siraha, Udayapur, and Saptari districts who call themselves Kochila but speak Sapatariya Tharu. Traditional religion, Hindu, Christian.