Kumaoni

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A language of India

Alternate Names
Kamaoni, Kumau, Kumauni, Kumawani, Kumgoni, Kumman, Kunayaoni
Population

2,360,000 (1998 survey). 472,000 monolinguals (1998 SIL).

Location

Uttarakhand, Almora, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat, and Udhamsingh Nagar districts; Central Kumaoni dialect is in Almora and north Nainital; Northeastern Kumaoni in Pithoragarh; Southeastern Kumaoni in southeast Nainital; Western Kumaoni is west of Almora and Nainital.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Central Kumaoni, Northeastern Kumaoni, Southeastern Kumaoni, Western Kumaoni. Reportedly, eastern dialects are different. Names sometimes listed for dialects or subgroups are: Askoti, Bhabari of Rampur, Chaugarkhiya, Danpuriya, Gangola, Johari, Khasparjiya, Kumaiya Pachhai, Pashchimi, Phaldakotiya, Kumaoni, Rau-Chaubhaisi, Sirali, Soriyali. Most closely related to Garwhali [gbm] and Nepali [npi].

Language Use

Home, community. All ages. Positive attitudes. Central dialect is most accepted. Hindi [hin] used in towns and markets, mostly by men but also by a few educated women and school-aged children. Used as L2 by Byangsi [bee], Chaudangsi [cdn], Darmiya [drd], Gujari [gju], Rawat [jnl], Rongpo [rnp].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 72% for Uttarakhand (2001 census). Motivation for literacy not high. Poetry. Magazines. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1825–2007.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Hindu, traditional religion.