Dura language

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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[edit]

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

Distribution[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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

No. Gloss Dura
1. I (1SG) ŋi ~ ŋe
2. you (2SG) no
3. we (inclusive) ŋyāro
4. this ī
5. that huī
6. Who? su
7. What? hāde
8. not ma-, ta- (prohibitive)
9. all (of a number) dhāī
10. many bhāī
11. one kyau, nām, di-
12. two jʰim, ŋe-
13. big kātʰe
14. long kānu, remo ~ hreŋo
15. small ācʰirī
16. woman (adult) misā
17. man (adult) kalārā, bro
18. person bro
19. fish (n) ɖisyā, nāh ~ nāhõ ~ nāhũ ~ nāi
20. bird; chicken o
21. dog nākyu ~ nakyu ~ nakī, koka
22. louse syā
23. tree kepo ~ kemo
24. seed (n) ʈisro, hulu
25. leaf lyoī, lho
26. root -
27. bark (of tree) -
28. skin ke
29. flesh syo
30. blood hāyu
31. bone -
32. grease, fat duccʰu
33. egg odī, onī
34. horn (of bull etc.) soglo, sono
35. tail -
36. feather phya
37. hair (human) kra
38. head padʰe
39. ear naya, muni, rānu
40. eye mi
41. nose nu
42. mouth māsi, sũ
43. tooth sa ~ se
44. tongue li
45. nail se
46. foot sepe
47. knee -
48. hand kuru
49. belly kyu
50. neck kʰalī, po ~ põ
51. breasts nāmlo
52. heart māu
53. liver ciŋ
54. to drink kiu-
55. to eat co-
56. to bite -
57. to see do- ~ dõ-, mātā-
58. to hear tās-, tāu-, tānu-
59. to know syo-
60. to sleep tānu-
61. to die si-
62. to kill sā-, kāne-, kāde
63. to swim -
64. to fly ŋyau, hāsu-
65. to walk so-
66. to come hro
67. to lie -
68. to sit huni-
69. to stand decʰe-
70. to give hyo-
71. to say cʰi-
72. sun mamī
73. moon tālā
74. star -so (in compound)
75. water ti ~ ʈi
76. rain (n) ti ~ ʈi
77. stone thũ ~ tũ, kāno ~ kānu
78. sand -
79. earth, soil kācʰo, cʰuu
80. cloud -
81. smoke (n) ma-kʰu
82. fire mi
83. ash(es) ma-pʰu
84. to burn (vi) bani-
85. path lāutʰyo
86. mountain lgẽwarapʰa [sic]
87. red cʰāblī
88. green -
89. yellow kẽlo
90. white bintʰā
91. black keplo
92. night yāku
93. hot -
94. cold cʰiũ
95. full ʈʰyāmmay
96. new kācʰā
97. good cʰyāu- (v), cʰāblī (also ‘red’)
98. round burluŋ
99. dry -
100. name rāmī
101. he (3SG) hui
102. he₂ (3SG) ŋo ~ no
103. you (2PL) nāro(-nī)
104. they (3PL) hyāro
105. three sām
106. four pim
107. five kum (<‘hand’)
108. where? kālā
109. when? komo
110. how? kudinī
111. other agyu, rijā
112. few ācitī
113. fruit pokimuni
114. flower ŋepʰu ~ nepʰu
115. grass cʰĩ
116. snake kāuī
117. worm kʰātalī
118. rope rasarī
119. river kloi ~ klou
120. to warm (vt) tāle-u
121. old ʈe
122. straight (not curved) hopay
123. sharp mhyā- (v)
124. wet tʰo- (v)
125. happy kru- (v)

Numerals[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dura at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b "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. ^ a b c d e Schorer, Nicolas. 2016. The Dura Language: Grammar and Phylogeny. Leiden: Brill.
  8. ^ a b c Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) - Dura Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]