Vayu language

This article is about the language spoken in Nepal. For the language of South America, see Wayuu language.
Vayu (वायु)
Hayu (हायु)
Native to Nepal
Region Janakpur Zone
Native speakers
1,500 (2011 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 vay
Glottolog wayu1241[2]

Vayu (वायु), Wayu or Hayu (हायु) is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Nepal by about 1740 people in the Janakpur Zone. Dialects include Sindhuli and Marin Khola.

General information

The Vayu language features SOV ordering. There are strong Nepali influences in its phonology, lexicon, and grammar. Its writing system uses the Devanagari script. There are no known monolingual speakers of the language, as its speaking population also uses Nepali. [1] Despite a lack of monolingual children, use of Vayu has survived into the 21st century [3]

Geographical distribution

Vayu is spoken in the following locations of Nepal. [1]

Vayu is spoken in the Sun Koshi valley, southwards across the Mahabharat range. Ethnic Vayu live on the hills on both sides of the Sun Kosi River but the language is only spoken in the villages listed.


  1. 1 2 3 Vayu (वायु) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Wayu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Frawley, W. (2003). Wayu. The International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. (Vol. 4, pp. 536) New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.


Further reading

Hodgson, B. (1857). Váyu Vocabulary. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 26. 372-485.

Hodgson, B. (1858). On the Vayu tribe of the Central Himalaya. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 27. 443-6.

Michailovsky, B. (1973). Notes on the Hayu language. Kailash : A Journal Of Himalayan Studies, 1(2), 135-152.

Michailovsky, B. (1974). Hayu Typology and Verbal Morphology. Linguistics Of The Tibeto-Burman Area, 11-26.

Michailovsky, B. (1976). A Case of Rhinoglottophilia in Hayu. Linguistics Of The Tibeto-Burman Area, 2293.

Park, I. (1995). Grammaticalization of Verbs in Three Tibeto-Burman Languages. Dissertation Abstracts International, 55(8), 2369A.

Sherard, M. (1986). Morphological Structure of the Pronominal and Verb Systems in Two Pronominalized Himalayan Languages. In J. McCoy, T. Light (Eds.) , Contributions to Sino-Tibetan Studies (pp. 172–199). Leiden: Brill.

Yadava, Y. P., Glover, W. W. (1999). Topics in Nepalese Linguistics. In Yadava, Yogendra P. and Warren W. Glover (eds.) Kamaladi, Kathmandu: Royal Nepal Academy. p. 603.

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