Rajbanshi

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A language of Nepal

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

168,300, all users. 147,000 (2011 census), increasing. 2,080 Koche, 122,000 Rajbanshi, 18,800 Tajpuriya, 3,610 Gangai. 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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