Rajbanshi

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A language of Nepal

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

168,300, all users. L1 users: 147,000 (2011 census), increasing. 2,080 Koche, 122,000 Rajbanshi, 18,800 Tajpuriya, 3,610 Gangai. L2 users: 21,300 (2011 census). Ethnic population: 173,000 (2011 census).

Location

Kosi zone: Morang and Sunsari districts; Mechi zone: Jhapa district.

Language Status

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

Dialects

Western Rajbanshi, Eastern Rajbanshi, Central 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. Literature. Newspapers. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. NT: 2009.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Hindu, Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.

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