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Information About Newari Language

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Extinct: no
Family: Sino-Tibetan
Branch: Tibeto-Burman
Continent: Asia
Country: Nepal
Region: Kathmandu Valley and in all towns and bigger villages thoughout Nepal. Fewer in the far west. Also spoken in India.
Countries Where Spoken: 690,000 in Nepal, 3.73% of the population (1991 census). Population total both countries 690,000 or more. India.
Countries Where Official: Nepal
Native Speakers: 690,000
Speakers Total: 690,000
Phrasebase members who speak Newari at a native level: 0
Phrasebase members who speak Newari at a conversational level: 0
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Newari: 0
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Newari: 0
Three Letter Code: NEW
Alternative Names: NEPAL BHASA, NEWAR
Summary: Dolkhali of Dolakha and Pahri of Sindhupalchok may be separate languages (Genetti 1994:2-3). Dolakha, Totali, and Pahari are conservative linguistically. Kirtipur is close to Kathmandu. Baktapur people can mostly understand Kathmandu. There are some vocabulary differences between Hindus and Buddhists. Many women are monolingual. All ages. Language loss is greater among Hindus than among Buddhists. Dolakha and Totali people are reserved toward outsiders. Kathmandu is the prestige dialect; most published materials are in this dialect. Many attitudes are linked with political groupings. English is highly valued; there are mixed feelings about Hindi; Tibetan doesn"t have high prestige. People learn whichever language will help them economically: Nepali, English, Hindi, and others. Dictionary. Grammar. SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, demonstratives before noun heads; relatives before and without noun heads; in polar questions there is a particle sentence finally; maximum number of prefixes 2; maximum number of suffixes 4; affixes or clitics indicate case of noun phrases; ergative; causatives; comparatives; CVC; nontonal. Literacy rate in first language: 60.4% (1991 census). Literacy rate in second language: 60.4% (1991 census). There are enough Newari teachers. Devanagari script. Newari has a complex history of scripts. Newspapers, magazines, radio programs, films. Urban. Mountain valley. Jyapu intensive agriculturalists (farming caste); full range of occupations. 300 to 2,000 meters. Buddhist (Patan mainly), Hindu (Bhaktapur mainly). NT 1986.

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