Dura language


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 only for saying prayers.[5]

The ethnic Dura people mostly live in the Lamjung District, with some in the neighboring Tanahu District, of the Gandaki Zone of central Nepal.[6] They mostly live on farms in hilly country.[6] Different recent census counts have reported the number of Dura people anywhere from 3,397 to 5,676.[6]

The Himalayan Languages Project is working on recording additional knowledge of Dura.[7] Around 1,500 words and 250 sentences in Dura have been recorded. The last known speaker of the language is the 82-year-old Soma Devi Dura.[2]

External links


  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; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Dura". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: 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. 1 2 3 Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) - Dura
  7. Programme Description | Himalayan Languages Project

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