Accepted paper:

Nepali as a Contact Language in Kathmandu Valley


Bhim Lal Gautam (Tribhuvan University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the historical as well as sociolinguistic factors for the linguistic convergence between the two major language families when they come into contact because of migration in the new cosmopolitan city i.e. Kathmandu.

Paper long abstract:

Nepali is the official language as well as lingua franca in Kathmandu city which is being used widely for official, business and other purposes since the unification movement in Nepal i.e 1769 AD. It has got a very long history and relationship with other languages mainly spoken in Kathmandu valley and other places. Contact Nepali has become the part of daily lives of all the people in Kathmandu valley these days. Newar is the most dominant language used by Newari people as their mother tongue. They use Newar for their domestic as well as religious and cultural purpose but speak Nepali for business as well as social activities. Kathmandu is now a multilingual city where we find people speaking at least 3 or more languages. Because of urbanization a large number of other language speaking communities like Indo-Aryan(Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu etc.) and Tibeto-Burman( Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Rai, Limbu etc.) are migrating in the capital day by day. This movement has made the language contact and convergence possible. Accordingly, this paper presents a brief outline of language contact situation in Kathmandu valley focusing on the possible historical and sociolinguistic features of contact Nepali like code Switching/Mixing, Borrowing etc. of the three communities i.e.Newari, Other TB and Madhesi speaking Nepali as a language of wider communication along with their domains of Nepali language used in various other activities..The data is collected informally from different sources like interview, Conversation, Speech and social gatherings like religious and cultural festivals.

panel MMM15
Migration and its linguistic consequences in South Asia and neighbouring regions