Thakali

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Barhagaule, Panchgaunle, Thaksya
Population

5,240 (2011 census), decreasing. Ethnic population: 13,000 (2001 census). L2 users: 1,060 (1991 census).

Location

Dhawalagiri Zone, Mustang district, Thak Khola, mid Kali Gandaki valley, with Annapurna Himal on one side and Dhawalagiri 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 indigenous nationality: Thakali, Chhairotan, Marphali Thakali, Tieengaule Thakali.

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 languages, 46%–51% with Tamang languages (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). 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 [Deva].

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, traditional religion.