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Magar Kham language

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Magar Kham
Kham
मगर ढुट
Native toNepal
EthnicityMagar
Speakers69,000 (2011)[1][failed verification]
L2: 28,000 (2011)[2]
Devanagari
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
kif – Eastern Parbate Kham
kgj – Gamale Kham
kip – Sheshi Kham
kjl – Western Parbate Pang
Glottologkham1286
ELPGamale Kham
Coordinates: 28.563229, 82.848238
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Magar Kham (मगर खाम), also known as Kham, Kham Magar, and Khamkura, is the Sino-Tibetan language variety of the Northern Magar people of Nepal.[3][4][5] The language is situated in the upper elevations of Baglung, East Rukum, and Rolpa districts. Based on census data taken in 2011, the total population of Magar Kham is estimated to be about 69,000 speakers.[1]

Language classification

Magar Kham is a Sino-Tibetan language, and it is classified by David Bradley as “Central Himalayan,” and as being related to Magar and Chepang and more distantly related to the Kiranti languages. George van Driem also classifies Magar Kham as “Para-Kiranti,” emphasizing that Magar Kham, Magar, and Chepang are united more by their differences from the Kiranti cluster than by their similarity to one another.[6][7] Within this cluster, Magar Kham possesses a number of unique grammatical features, and shares only 44% lexical similarity with Magar and 38% with Chepang.[8]

Dialects

Magar Kham speakers generally refer to their dialect using the name of an important village or river in conjunction with the Nepali instrumental suffix [-le] or the genitive suffix [-i]. Thus, it can be said that Magar Kham has as many dialects as there are villages and rivers in their native territory. The table below presents the major dialects of the Magar Kham language as they have been classified by David E. Watters.[8] The ISO 639-3 codes associated with each major dialect are presented in brackets.

Magar Kham varieties

Gamal Kham [kgj][9] Sheshi Kham [kip][10] Parbate Kham
Ghusbangi Kham

Tamali Kham

Jangkoti Kham

Tapnangi Kham

Western Parbate

Kham [kjl][11]

Eastern Parbate

Kham [kif][12]

Maikoti Kham

Takale Kham

Thabangi Kham

Wale Kham

Nisel Kham

Bhujel Kham

At the highest level in the table, Kham has been divided into Gamal Kham, Sheshi Kham, and Parbate Kham, which is further divided into Eastern and Western Parbate Kham. As previously stated, these four major dialects are mutually unintelligible and bear unique grammatical innovations indicative of different languages.[13] For this reason, each of these dialects have been given its own ISO 639-3 designation.

Speakers

Based on the census data taken in 2011, the total population of Magar Kham speakers is estimated to be about 69,000 persons.[1] The tables below presents the homeland population estimates by district and by dialect. It is estimated that about 15,000 Magar Kham speakers live in diaspora.[citation needed]

Magar Kham population by district

Province District Estimated Population
Gandaki Baglung 5,000
Lumbini East Rukum 17,000
Lumbini Rolpa 29,000

Magar Kham population by dialect/variety

According to Ethnologue:

Dialect ISO 639-3 Native speakers (year) L2 speakers (year) Total speakers (year)
Gamal Kham kgj 7,000 (2011)[9] 3,000 (2011)[9] 10,000 (2011)[9]
Sheshi Kham kip 15,000 (2011)[10]
Eastern Parbate kif 5,000 (2011)[12]
Western Parbate kjl 44,000 (2003)[11] 25,000 (2011)[11] 69,000 (2003–2011)[11]
All varieties 99,000 (2003–2011)

Estimates are based on the number of persons registering their mother tongue as either “Magar” or “Kham” within the territory of the northern Magars.[citation needed]

Language vitality

Although their homeland is fairly homogeneous, northern Magars are multilingual.[14][15] The national language of Nepali is spoken confidently by all individuals under 35 years old. In some communities (Sheshi and Eastern Parbate), parents have shifted to speaking Nepali with their children, and the speaker population is gradually decreasing. However, in all of East Rukum and in the Gam river valley of Rolpa, the language is being vigorously transmitted. Ethnologue has assigned the following EGIDS levels to each variety:

  • Western Parbate Kham [kjl]: level 5 (Developing)[11]
  • Eastern Parbate Kham [kif]: level 6b (Threatened)[12]
  • Gamal Kham [kgj]: level 6a (Vigorous)[9]
  • Sheshi Kham [kip]: level 6b (Threatened)[10]

The UNESCO Endangered Languages Project has classified Gamal Kham as "Vulnerable."[16]

Phonology

Consonants

The Taka dialect of Western Parbate Kham has 22 consonant phonemes while Gamal Kham possesses around 29 to 30 consonant phonemes.[8]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
plain sibilant
Nasal voiceless 2 2 ŋ̊1
voiced m n ŋ
Plosive/
Affricate
voiceless p t t͡s k ʔ2
voiced b d d͡z ɡ
aspirated t͡sʰ
Fricative voiceless ɬ2 s ç1 h
voiced z
Rhotic ɾ3
Approx. voiceless ɥ̊2 ʍ2
voiced ɥ2 l j w
  1. These phonemes only appear in Ghusbang and Sheram[17] dialect. All others appear in every Kham dialect.
  2. These phonemes do not occur in Parbate Kham.[8]
  3. The rhotic /ɾ/ is realized as a trill [r] at the end of words. Otherwise, it is a flap.

Vowels

Taka dialect of Western Parbate has 25 vowel phonemes.[8]

Front Central Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
short long nasal short long short long nasal short long nasal short long nasal
Close i1 ĩː y ɯ ɯː ɯ̃ː u1 ũː
Mid e1 ẽː ø øː ə1 əː ə̃ː o1 õː
Open mid ɛ
Open ɐ1 ɐː ɐ̃ː
  1. These vowels occur in every dialect of Kham.

Tone

See vocal registers.

Writing

Consonants

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Deva. ज़[18] झ़ न्ह म्ह व़ ह्ल ह्व ह्व़
trans. z zh nh mh hl hw hẏ
IPA z zV̤ ɥ ɬ ʍ ɥ̊
/kə/ /kʰə/ /ɡə/ /ɡə̤/ /ŋə/
/t͡sə/ /t͡sʰə/ /d͡zə/ /d͡zə̤/ /nə/
/tə/ /tʰə/ /də/ /də̤/ /nə/
/tə/ /tʰə/ /də/ /də̤/ /nə/
/pə/ /pʰə/ /bə/ /bə̤/ /mə/
/jə/ /rə/ /lə/ /wə/
/çə/ /sə/ /sə/ /hə/
क्ष त्र ज्ञ
/t͡sʰə/ /trə/ /ɡjə/

Vowels

Vowels for Parbate Kham[8]
Devanagari Roman IPA
a ə
ā ɐ
i i
इ़ ü y
ī
u u
उ़ ï ɯ
ū
e e, ɛ
ए़ ø ø
ai əj
o o
au əw
h, ḥ
◌̃ ◌̃ː
◌̃, ṅ, n, ṇ, ñ ◌̃ː, ŋ, n
, . °, , ' ◌ː
ʔ

Vowels for Gamal Kham

Orthography इ/ई उ/ऊ अं अः अँ ॱअ
Roman a ā i/ī u/ū e ai o au aṃ aḥ ã a'
IPA ə ɐ i u e, ɛ əj o əw ə̃ ə̤ ə̃ əʔ

Reconstruction

Proto-Kham has been reconstructed by Watters (2002). Proto-Kham reconstructions from Watters (2002: 443–456) are given below.[8]

A. Body parts
  • *r-dzəŋ ~ *b-dzəŋ 'back'
  • *yep 'back (upper)'
  • *phuː 'belly'
  • *dziːh 'blood'
  • *klaŋ 'body'
  • *s-rus 'bone'
  • *nun 'breast'
  • *sək 'breath'
  • *r-mehsiŋ 'buttocks'
  • *r-tso 'cheek'
  • *r-na 'ear'
  • *(ba)r-zut 'egg'
  • *mik 'eye'
  • *s-ŋa 'face'
  • *sot 'fat'
  • *r-sin 'fingernail'
  • *kəŋ 'foot'
  • *r-nihl 'gums'
  • *r-ta 'guts'
  • *muhl 'hair (body)'
  • *p-tsem 'hair (head)'
  • *kut 'hand'
    • *r-la 'the under-arm area; side of the body'
  • *s-r-ŋat 'head'
  • *s-yiŋ 'heart'
  • *b-rəhŋ 'horn'
  • *sya 'animal'
  • *r-khap 'jawbone'
  • *kəl 'kidney'
  • *p-sin 'liver'
  • *yaːh 'mouth'
  • *s-məŋ 'mustache'
  • *r-dehŋ 'neck'
  • *s-nat 'nose'
  • *r-dzihs 'piss'
  • *s-nis 'pus'
  • *b-rəhm 'rib'
  • *p-s-til 'saliva'
  • *kli 'shit'
    • *r-kək 'excrement in the intestine of a slaughtered animal'
  • *s-pum 'shoulder'
  • *r-sa 'sinew'
  • *l-kota 'skin'
  • *r-nahp 'snot'
  • *r-meh 'tail'
  • *r-pihl 'tears'
  • *r-b-yah 'thigh (upper side)'
  • *p-s-le 'tongue'
  • *ha-p-sya 'tooth'
  • *wohs 'vomit'
  • *hwaŋ 'waist'
  • *r-mil ~ *s-mil 'wind pipe'
  • *kər 'wing'
B. Pronouns/kinship terms/nouns referring to humans'
  • *dahpa 'bachelor'
  • *za 'child'
  • *nan 'friend'
  • *b-re 'husband'
  • *dahme 'maiden'
  • *r-min 'name'
  • *r-mi; *ruː 'person'
    • *s-lepa 'man, male human'
    • *miːma 'woman, female human' < *mi 'person' + *ma 'female'
  • *nana 'sister (older)'
  • *nam 'sister (younger)'
  • *nəŋ 'thou'
  • *dzya 'wife'
C. Foodstuff
  • *bəhres 'bread'
  • *tsip 'curry'
  • *r-zəm 'food'
  • *s-ŋən 'herbs'
  • *raŋrəi 'millet'
  • *r-mo 'mushroom'
  • *hek 'parched grain'
  • *tuk 'poison'
  • *(ya)kaŋ 'rice (cooked)'
  • *plima 'wheat'
D. Animal names or animal products
  • *səhr 'antelope'
  • *nim 'bear'
  • *r-pen 'bedbug'
  • *b-zin 'bee'
  • *bwa 'bird'
    • *s-puŋ 'chick'
  • *gəl 'boar (wild)'
  • *b-s-rut 'bug'
  • *s-raŋ 'cat'
  • *har 'cow'
  • *kaːh 'dog'
  • *ŋah 'fish'
  • *tek 'frog'
  • *ra 'goat'
  • *r-ta 'horse'
  • *r-pəti 'leech'
  • *la 'leopard'
  • *syar 'louse'
  • *s-p-yu; *s-p-ya 'monkey'
  • *srəm 'otter'
  • *b-rəhŋ 'pheasant'
  • *wə 'pig'
  • *bi 'rat'
  • *luk 'sheep'
  • *guhl 'snake'
    • *daŋ 'python, constricting snake'
  • *p-s-yap 'squirrel (flying)'
  • *s-kyar 'woodpecker'
  • *p-sən 'wool'
E. Natural objects or phenomena; the inanimate landscape; vegetable and mineral kingdoms
  • *r-plah 'ashes'
  • *kər 'branch'
  • *r-pup 'cave'
  • *la 'day'
    • *tshyam 'a certain day'
  • *b-rih 'dirt'
  • *r-gəm 'earth'
  • *rihm 'evening'
  • *ehŋ 'field'
    • *baŋ 'a field, meadow, bowl shaped valley'
  • *meh 'fire'
  • *p-set 'fruit'
  • *tshi 'grass'
  • *kuŋ 'hole'
  • *dzəhŋ 'iron'
  • *s-la 'leaf'
  • *r-nahm 'low country'
  • *p-s-ya + *hwot 'moon'
  • *goŋ 'mountain'
  • *rik; *mun 'night'
  • *r-wa 'rain'
  • *bəih 'river'
  • *yem 'road'
  • *s-rin 'root'
  • *sa + *pik 'salt'
  • *nup 'set (sun)'
  • *saŋ 'shadow'
  • *nəm 'sky'
  • *mihkut 'smoke' < *meːh 'fire' + *ku 'smoke'
  • *r-pom 'snow'
  • *səro 'star'
  • *r-dzuht 'stick'
  • *luŋ 'stone'
  • *nəmi(y) 'sun'
  • *b-zu 'thorn'
  • *siŋ 'tree'
  • *riːh 'water'
    • *rihmun 'cooking water' < *riːh 'water' + *mun 'warm'
  • *rəhm 'weed'
F. Artifacts and social organization
  • *r-wan 'arrowhead'
  • *r-wa 'axe'
  • *r-beh(k) 'basket'
  • *li 'bow'
  • *tshəm 'bridge'
  • *pəsi(-s) 'broom'
  • *kwa 'cloth'
  • *yahm 'door'
  • *b-rihŋ 'drum'
  • *'gor 'circle'
  • *muhthap 'hearth' < *muh 'burn' + *thap 'hearth'
  • *zihm 'house'
    • *r-bəŋ 'lower storey of house; cattle byre'
  • *khor 'knife'
  • *gur 'load'
  • *tən 'sleeping mat'
  • *b-lo 'large bamboo mat'
  • *tshum 'mortar'
  • *r-gəp 'a small needle'
  • *r-khap 'a large needle'
  • *b-zəhn 'net'
  • *r-gum 'pillow'
  • *gohr 'plow'
  • *b-dza 'pot'
  • *p-sip 'sheath'
  • *tsihŋ 'snare'
  • *gel 'spirit'
  • *naŋkhar; *nam 'village'
  • *ehn 'work'
  • *kum 'yoke'
G. Spatial/directional
  • *glahŋ 'across'
  • *chin 'behind'
  • *khar 'center'
  • *me 'down'
  • *s-ŋa 'front'
  • *thək 'upright'
  • *a-sniŋ 'year'
    • *rta-sniŋ 'last year'
    • *pərniŋ 'next year'
H. Numerals and quantifiers
  • *tə 'one'
  • *nehs 'two'
  • *sohm 'three'
  • *b-zi 'four'
  • *r-ŋa 'five'
I. Verbs of utterance, body position or function
  • *sən; *so 'awaken'
  • *klik 'cry'
  • *eh 'defecate'
  • *si 'die'
  • *b-yi 'fart'
  • *sas 'laugh'
    • *p-s-rat 'to play'
    • *b-s-res 'toy, plaything'
  • *nah 'rest'
  • *tsuŋ 'sit'
  • *r-ŋəhl; *em; *ruk ~ *ru-t 'sleep'
    • *s-ip 'to put to sleep'
  • *p-tshis 'sneeze'
  • *s-paŋ 'speak'
  • *tsyahŋ 'stand'
  • *kəlet 'tickle'
  • *r-dzihs 'urinate'
  • *who-t 'vomit' < CAUS. of wohs 'to spurt out'
  • *gəhr 'weep'
J. Verbs of motion
  • *kles 'arrive'
  • *rə-t 'bring'
  • *plu-s 'climb'
  • *huŋ 'come'
  • *plu-s 'emerge'
    • *s-plu-t 'cause to emerge, expel'
  • *te-s 'fall'
  • *s-bur 'fly'
  • *z-ba 'go'
  • *b-la 'graze'
  • *mohŋ 'hide'
  • *zok 'run'
K. Verbs of emotion, cognition, perception
  • *r-məŋ 'dream'
  • *p-tshet 'fear'
  • *s-meŋ 'forget'
  • *that 'hear'
    • *thas 'to be heard, audible'
  • *sən 'know'
  • *r-ses 'something, to know how'
  • *r-sək 'proud'
  • *rəhŋ 'see'
    • *p-tsyu 'to look'
  • *s-ŋər; *s-nəm 'smell'
  • *b-ris 'tingle'
L. Stative verbs with human patients
  • *məhŋ 'drunk'
  • *sot 'fat'
  • *kre 'hunger'
  • *na 'ill'
  • *so 'itchy'
  • *tshaŋ 'pure'
  • *tsos 'thirst'
M. Stative verbs with non-human patients
  • *pək 'bad'
  • *li 'be'
  • *p-se 'bear fruit'
  • *s-ta-s 'become'
  • *ka 'bitter'
  • *pak 'broken'
  • *mom 'bud'
  • *p-set 'bud'
  • *r-pu-s 'burst'
  • *zihm; *gim 'cold'
  • *s-ta 'collapsed'
  • *s-kluŋ 'detach'
  • *thəŋ 'dried'
  • *yək 'full'
  • *p-tsa 'good'
  • *s-len 'greasy'
  • *piŋ 'green'
  • *gis < *s-lis 'heavy'
  • *s-gwaŋ 'hole'
  • *b-rah 'hot'
  • *wyi 'leak'
  • *bom 'light'
  • *s-lo; *b-re 'long'
  • *dzöhl 'loose'
  • *mah 'lost'
  • *s-dem ~ *them 'low'
  • *khət 'matched'
  • *sahr 'new'
  • *gyahm 'red'
  • *mihn 'ripe'
  • *tsik 'rotten'
  • *lum 'round'
  • *p-tsha 'sharp'
  • *tun 'short'
  • *zim 'small'
  • *b-sir 'sour'
  • *tuk 'spicy'
  • *sli-s 'stale'
  • *b-rehk 'sweet'
  • *ruhŋ 'thick'
  • *plek 'thin'
    • *wa 'to be thin (esp. of boards)'
  • *mun 'warm'
  • *pal 'white'
    • *plaŋ 'bright, illuminated'
N. Action verbs with human agent
  • *s-po 'beat'
  • *ŋih 'beg'
  • *kəi 'bite'
  • *s-mut 'blow'
    • *phut 'to blow with bellows'
  • *r-lap 'bore'
  • *s-kle(t) 'break'
  • *hip 'burn'
  • *r-duhp 'butt'
  • *ləhŋ 'buy'
    • *b-lot 'to lend to someone'
    • *b-los 'to borrow'
  • *guhr 'carry'
  • *kloh 'catch'
  • *kwa-t 'clothe'
  • *r-sat 'comb'
  • *phin 'cook'
    • *mihn 'to cook until done'
    • *tso 'to boil'
  • *kəp 'cover'
  • *pəl 'cut'
    • *kri 'to cut meat'
  • *p-syah 'dance'
  • *goh 'dig'
  • *gəp 'draw water'
  • *zya 'eat'
    • *kəi 'to eat things which require chewing'
  • *hat 'extract'
  • *z-dət 'find'
  • *z-dup 'gather'
  • *ya 'give'
  • *p-set 'grind'
  • *r-guh 'guard'
  • *tup 'hammer'
  • *tsho 'herd'
  • *phok 'husk'
  • *lut 'insert'
  • *tak 'install'
  • *r-then 'kick'
  • *saht 'kill'
  • *kek 'ladle'
  • *b-rihm 'lay wall'
  • *lep 'lick'
  • *dzət 'make'
  • *pek 'milk'
  • *z-bra-t 'mix'
  • *pho-t 'open'
  • *phok 'pay'
  • *tik 'pick up'
  • *s-krəp 'pin closed'
  • *p-tsil 'pinch'
  • *p-sut 'plug'
  • *tek 'press'
  • *dzəhk 'put'
    • *nat 'to set down, place'
  • *ra-s 'release'
  • *phit 'remove from fire'
  • *tsep 'ride'
  • *s-ŋo 'roast'
  • *b-zu 'rub'
    • *p-sil 'to scrub'
  • *s-lom 'scald'
  • *sim 'scoop'
  • *s-pik 'scrape'
    • *pur 'to scratch'
  • *s-nan 'seize'
  • *p-yet 'sell'
  • *s-priŋ 'send'
  • *ruhp 'sew'
  • *p-yen 'shave'
  • *gap 'shoot'
  • *s-tən 'show'
  • *kok 'skin, peel'
  • *phyak 'snap'
  • *tshim 'soak'
  • *was 'sow seed'
  • *khəl 'spin wool'
  • *p-si 'split firewood'
  • *tser 'squeeze'
  • *ku 'steal'
    • *rok 'to ransack, rummage'
  • *r-wal 'stir'
  • *on 'stop'
  • *sit 'sweep'
  • *p-sik ~ *p-sis 'teach'
  • *p-tsit 'tear'
  • *khya 'throw'
  • *s-ki 'tie'
  • *s-to 'trade'
  • *kil 'twist'
  • *s-krup 'unfold'
  • *bohk 'uproot'
  • *tse 'wash'
    • *r-za 'to wash hair'
  • *rəhk 'weave'
    • *rihn 'to set up a loom'
  • *hul 'whet'

References

  1. ^ a b c "National Population and Housing Census 2011: Social Characteristics Tables (Caste/Ethnicity, Mother Tongue and Second Language)" (PDF). Government of Nepal: National Planning Commission Secretariat – Central Bureau of Statistics. February 2014.
  2. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2022). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (25th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International.
  3. ^ Hitchcock, John T. (1966). The Magars of Banyan Hill. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  4. ^ Fischer, James F. (1986). Trans-Himalayan traders: Economy, society, and culture in northwest Nepal. Berkeley, CA: University of California.
  5. ^ Oppitz, Michael. (1991). Onkels tochter, keine sonst. Uncle’s Daughter, Nobody Else. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
  6. ^ Bradley, David. (1997). “Tibeto-Burman languages and classification.” In Papers in Southeast Asian Linguistics No. 14: Tibeto-Burman languages of the Himalayas, edited. by David Bradley, 1-72, Canberra: Australian National University.
  7. ^ van Driem, George. (2001). Languages of the Himalayas: An ethnographic handbook of the greater Himalayan region, vol. 2. Leiden: Brill.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Watters, David E.. (2002). A grammar of Kham. Cambridge: Cambridge University. ISBN 0-521-81245-3
  9. ^ a b c d e Kham, Gamal at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  10. ^ a b c Kham, Sheshi at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  11. ^ a b c d e Kham, Western Parbate at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  12. ^ a b c Kham, Eastern Parbate at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  13. ^ Watters, David E.. (1998). The Kham language of west-central Nepal (Takale dialect). Ph.D. dissertation. Eugene, Oregon.
  14. ^ Leman, Joseph D. (2019). “Sociolinguistic Profile of Maikoti Kham: A sociolinguistic study of the Kham language spoken in the area of Maikot village in East Rukum District of Nepal.” Journal of Language Survey Reports. SIL International.
  15. ^ Watters, Stephen. (2018). Linguistic identity and dialect diversity: A conundrum with regard to Magar Kham. Language and identity in multilingual, migrating world. SIL International.
  16. ^ "Gamale Kham". Endangered Languages Project.
  17. ^ Wilde, Christopher P. (2017-06-01). "A Phonological Comparison of Gamale, Sheram and Ghusbang – Three Kham Varieties". Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. 10 (1): 67–90. ISSN 1836-6821.
  18. ^ Wilde, Christopher P. (2016). "Gamale Kham phonology revisited, with Devanagari-based orthography and lexicon". Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. ISSN 1836-6821.

Further reading

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Magar Kham language
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