A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Bayu, Hayu, Vayu, Wayo

1,565, all users. L1 users: 1,520 (2011 census), decreasing. L2 users: 45 (2011 census). No monolinguals.


Janakpur zone: Ramechhap district, Mudajor and Sukajor villages; Sindhuli district, Manedihi village in Sun Koshi valley.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Hayu.


Sindhuli, Marin Khola.


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; tense; no passives or voice; nontonal; 27 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Ethnic Wayu live on the hills on both sides of the Sun Kosi River but the language is only spoken in the villages listed. In 1995 many children in Mudajor were not learning Wayu but the language was alive and well in Manedihi (2002 UNESCO). A growing interest in language preservation. Religion; mixed use: Home, friends. Some young people, all adults. Negative attitudes. Many feel the language is an obstacle to progress, but a minority would like to keep speaking it. All also use Nepali [npi].

Language Development

Grammar. Texts.


Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Strong Nepali [npi] influences in phonology, lexicon, and grammar (Matisoff 1991). Traditional religion, Hindu.

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