Language conference (event)

B. K. Rana bk_rana at YAHOO.COM
Tue Oct 12 18:31:45 UTC 2004

Kusunda language does not fall in any family: Study

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, October 10:

Linguists, who have been documenting the mother tongue of Kusundas, have said that their language does not fall in any language family of the world. Addressing a function organised to reveal the finding of a three-month study of the language, Prof Dr David E Watters said the language does not resemble any of the language families recorded so far. Watters said the isolated language has a very different sentence structure and very unique pattern of tense. �I have never experienced such a language structure ever since I have began my research,� he said at the function organised by National Foundation for the Development of Indigenous Nationalities. �The language, however, has a slight proximity in the structure of a language spoken in some parts of Africa,� he added.

He said the language could have been spoken since over 7,000 years ago. �It is a very rare and unique. Investigation is still on and there are lots of things to be revealed.� A team including the head of the Linguistic Department of the Tribhuvan University Dr Yogendra Prasad Yadav, Prof Dr David E Watters and Prof Dr Madhav Prasad Pokhrel have been documenting the vocabulary and sketching the grammar of the language with the help of three Kusundas �Gyani Maya Sen, Prem Bahadur Shahi and Kamala Singh �in the capital for the last three months. According to Yadav the main reason behind the extinction of any language of a marginalised group is the lack of sufficient speakers and literature, migration and generation gap.

The team has documented the scientific aspects of the language, phonology, and vocabulary.

Prof Dr Nobel Kishor Rai urged the authorities concerned to study the all aspects of Kusundas, not only the language. Linguist Sueyoshi Toba, visiting professor at TU, urged all to explore and preserve the language. He suggested newspaper in their language could help them learn and conserve their language. Prof Dr Santa Bahadur Gurung said that the national census of 2001 shows that there are altogether 164 Kusundas �79 female and 85 male �living in Pyuthan, Dang and Tanahun. �Hereditary examination, development of grammar and classification and analysis of the language are still to be done that needs a lot of resources,� Gurung said. State Minister for the Local Development Krishna Gopal Shrestha promised to help the projects aimed at uplifting indigenous and nationalities. Minister Shrestha also felicitated the three Kusundas wrapping them with shawls and providing them with wristwatches.

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