Tharu, Madhya-Purbiya

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Kochila Tharu, मध्य-पूर्विया थारू
Population

258,000 (2003), increasing. Population for all Tharu varieties: 1,530,000 (2011 census). Mostly illiterate older women are monolingual.

Location

Kosi zone: Morang and Sunsari districts; Mechi zone: Jhapa district; Narayani zone: Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat districts; Sagarmatha zone: Saptari and Udayapur districts.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Tharu, Dhanuk.

Dialects

Saptari (Saptariya Tharu), Morang, Udayapur, Sunsari, Siraha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Dhanusa, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa. Each district has a different variety. Dialect names refer to districts. Lexical similarity: 51%–59% with Kathariya Tharu, 46%–52% with Dangaura Tharu.

Typology

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.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, friends, religion; mixed use: Work, education, religion. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Maithili [mai], Nepali [npi].

Language Development
Mother-tongue multilingual education introduced in one school. Literacy increasing. Taught in primary schools. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Texts.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

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, Christian.

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