Dura language

Dura
Native to Nepal
Ethnicity 2,160 (2011 census)[1]
Extinct between 2008[2] and 2012[1]
with the death of Soma Devi Dura
Language codes
ISO 639-3 drq
Glottolog dura1244[3]

Dura is a recently extinct language of Nepal. It has been classified in the West Bodish branch of Tibetan languages, though more recent work separates it out as an independent branch of Sino-Tibetan.[4] Many of the Dura have switched to speaking Nepali, and the Dura language has sometimes been thought to be extinct. Some of the people who have switched to Nepali for their daily speech still use Dura for prayer.[5]

The Himalayan Languages Project is working on recording additional knowledge of Dura.[6] Around 1,500 words and 250 sentences in Dura have been recorded. The last known speaker of the language was the 82-year-old Soma Devi Dura.[2]

Classification

Schorer (2016:293)[7] classifies Dura as part of his newly proposed Greater Magaric branch.

Distribution

The ethnic Dura people mostly live in Lamjung District, with some in neighboring Tanahu District of Gandaki Zone in central Nepal.[8] They mostly live on farms in the hilly countryside.[8] Different recent census counts have reported the number of Dura people anywhere from 3,397 to 5,676.[8]

Dura villages include:[7]

  • बाँग्रे Bāṅgre
  • बेसी बाँग्रे Besī Bāṅgre
  • बेसी फाँट Besī Phā̃ṫ
  • सिन्दुरे Sindure
  • धुसेनी Dhusenī
  • नस्के Naske (Dura majority)
  • नेटा Neṭā
  • चन्दि गाउँ Candigāũ
  • भाँगु Bhāṅgu
  • मालिङ Māliṅ
  • आरीकोसे Ārīkose
  • ठूलो स्वाँरा Ṭhūlo Svā̃rā (Dura majority)
  • खजे गाउँ Khaje Gāũ
  • तुर्लुङ Turluṅ (Dura majority)
  • तान्द्राङ्कोट Tāndrāṅkoṫ
  • Kunchha

Other ethnic groups in the Dura region include the Gurung, Brahmins, Chetrīs, Kāmī, and Damāi.[7]

Tandrange

A closely related language variety called Tandrange (Nepali: Tāndrāṅe; IPA: tandraŋe) is spoken in a few Gurung villages.[7] Tandrange is spoken in the villages of Tāndrāṅ तान्द्राङ, Pokharī Thok पोखरी थोक, and Jītā जीता. However, Tandrange speakers adamantly consider themselves as not related to the stigmatized Dura people.[7]

Reconstruction

Schorer (2016:286-287) reconstructs the following Proto-Dura words.

  • *hāyu ‘blood’
  • *cʰiũŋ ‘cold’
  • *kim ‘house’
  • *ti ‘water’
  • *krut ‘hand’
  • *kyu ‘stomach’
  • *yāku ‘night’
  • *mamī ‘sun’
  • *lām- ‘path’
  • *luŋ ‘stone’
  • *daŋ- ‘to see’
  • *rā- ‘to come’
  • *khāC- ‘to go’
  • *yʱā ‘to give’
  • *cʰi- ‘to say’

Vocabulary

Schorer (2016:126-127) provides the following 125-word Swadesh list of Dura.

No.GlossDura
1.I (1SG)ŋi ~ ŋe
2.you (2SG)no
3.we (inclusive)ŋyāro
4.thisī
5.thathuī
6.Who?su
7.What?hāde
8.notma-, ta- (prohibitive)
9.all (of a number)dhāī
10.manybhāī
11.onekyau, nām, di-
12.twojʰim, ŋe-
13.bigkātʰe
14.longkānu, remo ~ hreŋo
15.smallācʰirī
16.woman (adult)misā
17.man (adult)kalārā, bro
18.personbro
19.fish (n)ɖisyā, nāh ~ nāhõ ~ nāhũ ~ nāi
20.bird; chickeno
21.dognākyu ~ nakyu ~ nakī, koka
22.lousesyā
23.treekepo ~ kemo
24.seed (n)ʈisro, hulu
25.leaflyoī, lho
26.root-
27.bark (of tree)-
28.skinke
29.fleshsyo
30.bloodhāyu
31.bone-
32.grease, fatduccʰu
33.eggodī, onī
34.horn (of bull etc.)soglo, sono
35.tail-
36.featherphya
37.hair (human)kra
38.headpadʰe
39.earnaya, muni, rānu
40.eyemi
41.nosenu
42.mouthmāsi, sũ
43.toothsa ~ se
44.tongueli
45.nailse
46.footsepe
47.knee-
48.handkuru
49.bellykyu
50.neckkʰalī, po ~ põ
51.breastsnāmlo
52.heartmāu
53.liverciŋ
54.to drinkkiu-
55.to eatco-
56.to bite-
57.to seedo- ~ dõ-, mātā-
58.to heartās-, tāu-, tānu-
59.to knowsyo-
60.to sleeptānu-
61.to diesi-
62.to killsā-, kāne-, kāde
63.to swim-
64.to flyŋyau, hāsu-
65.to walkso-
66.to comehro
67.to lie-
68.to sithuni-
69.to standdecʰe-
70.to givehyo-
71.to saycʰi-
72.sunmamī
73.moontālā
74.star-so (in compound)
75.waterti ~ ʈi
76.rain (n)ti ~ ʈi
77.stonethũ ~ tũ, kāno ~ kānu
78.sand-
79.earth, soilkācʰo, cʰuu
80.cloud-
81.smoke (n)ma-kʰu
82.firemi
83.ash(es)ma-pʰu
84.to burn (vi)bani-
85.pathlāutʰyo
86.mountainlgẽwarapʰa [sic]
87.redcʰāblī
88.green-
89.yellowkẽlo
90.whitebintʰā
91.blackkeplo
92.nightyāku
93.hot-
94.coldcʰiũ
95.fullʈʰyāmmay
96.newkācʰā
97.goodcʰyāu- (v), cʰāblī (also ‘red’)
98.roundburluŋ
99.dry-
100.namerāmī
101.he (3SG)hui
102.he₂ (3SG)ŋo ~ no
103.you (2PL)nāro(-nī)
104.they (3PL)hyāro
105.threesām
106.fourpim
107.fivekum (<‘hand’)
108.where?kālā
109.when?komo
110.how?kudinī
111.otheragyu, rijā
112.fewācitī
113.fruitpokimuni
114.flowerŋepʰu ~ nepʰu
115.grasscʰĩ
116.snakekāuī
117.wormkʰātalī
118.roperasarī
119.riverkloi ~ klou
120.to warm (vt)tāle-u
121.oldʈe
122.straight (not curved)hopay
123.sharpmhyā- (v)
124.wettʰo- (v)
125.happykru- (v)

Numerals

Dura numerals are (Schorer 2016:146-147):

  • 0. liŋa
  • 1. nām, kyau, di-
  • 2. jʰim
  • 3. sām
  • 4. pim
  • 5. kum
  • 6. cyām (Indo-Aryan loanword)
  • 7. syām (Indo-Aryan loanword)
  • 8. him
  • 9. him
  • 10. tʰim
  • 20. jʰim-tʰī
  • 30. sām-tʰī
  • 100. tʰiŋganā, kātʰerāgo
  • 1,000. jena

See also

References

  1. 1 2 Dura at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. 1 2 "The last of Nepal's Dura speakers". BBC News. January 15, 2008.
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dura". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. Kraayenbrink et al., "Language and Genes of the Greater Himalayan Region", preprint, http://www.le.ac.uk/genetics/maj4/Himalayan_OMLLreport.pdf, retrieved September 12, 2007
  5. Van Driem, George. Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region, Brill Academic Publishers 2002 (ISBN 978-9004103900)
  6. Programme Description | Himalayan Languages Project Archived 2007-07-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Schorer, Nicolas. 2016. The Dura Language: Grammar and Phylogeny. Leiden: Brill.
  8. 1 2 3 Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) - Dura Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
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