Thakali

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Barhagaule, Panchgaunle, Thaksya
Population

6,440 (2001 census), decreasing. Ethnic population: 13,000 (2001 census).

Location

Dhaulagiri Zone, Mustang district, Thak Khola, mid Kali Gandaki valley, with Annapurna Himal on one side and Dhaulagiri Himal on the other, Tatopani village in the south to Jomsom north. Tukuche dialect: Tukuche to Thaksatsae, in 13 villages: Tukuche, Khanti, Kobang, Larjung, Dampu, Naurikot, Bhurjungkot, Nakung, Tithi, Kunjo, Taglung, Lete, Ghansa. Many live outside the area.

Language Maps
Language Status

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

Dialects

Marpha (Puntan Thakali), Syang (Yhulkasom), Tukuche (Tamhang Thakali, Thaksaatsaye, Thaksatsae). Thakali dialects have 91%–97% inherent intelligibility. Tukuche dialect most easily understood by others. Tukuche is cultural center and the most prestigeous dialect. Lexical similarity: 41%–46% with Gurung, 46%–51% with Tamang (1994 J. Webster). Thakali dialects in 4 villages have 75%–86% lexical similarity.

Typology

SOV; postpositions; noun head both initial and final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word final; verbal affixation marks number; tense; no passives or voice; tonal; 27 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Youth in Tukuche maintain Thakali strongly. Elsewhere youth use less Thakali, but develop it more fully as they grow older (1994 J. Webster). 1,056 L2 speakers (1991 census). Religion; mixed use: Home, friends, religion, work. Older adults and elderly. Some use among children, adolescents, and young adults.

Language Development
Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Marpha dialect is in an endogamous village. People of Marpha, Syang, Thini, Chhairo, and Chimang villages are sometimes collectively known as Panchgaunle (5 villages), the name used for both the ethnic group and language. Buddhist, Christian.