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Nepali

Nepali is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Nepal, Bhutan, and some parts of India and Myanmar (Burma).

It is the official language of Nepal and also one of 23 Official languages of India incorporated in 8th annex of the Indian constitution. Besides, in India , Nepali is only one "other officially recognised language" in the state of Bangal(previously West Bengal). It is lingua-franca of the state of Sikkim.It is official language of Darjeling Hill council,a autonomous region of state of Bangal (previously West Bengal).Similarly it has semi-official status in State of Uttaranchal as well as in the state of Assam. Roughly half of the population of Nepal speaks Nepali as a mother tongue but it is spoken as a second language by most of the Nepalese. However its sole use in courts and government is being challenged. Issue of recognition of for other ethnic language was one of talking points raised by maoist insurgency. A Cabinet Minister, Matrika Yadav recently took ministerial oath in Maithili language, apart from Nepali language.

Nepali goes by various names. English speakers generally call it Nepali or Nepalese (i.e. the language of Nepal). It was also called Gorkhali or Gurkhali, "the language of the Gurkhas, "and Parbatiya, "the language of the mountains." Khaskura is the oldest term, literally speech of the Khas who were peasants in the Karnali-Bheri basin of far western Nepal since prehistoric or early historic times. Khaskura exists in opposition to Khamkura, a group of Tibeto-Burman dialects spoken by Kham peoples in highlands separating the Karnali-Bheri basin from the Gandaki basin in central Nepal.

History

Then perhaps 500 years ago, Khas peoples migrated eastward, bypassing the inhospitable Kham highlands to settle in the lower valleys of the Gandaki basin suited to rice cultivation. One notable extended family settled in Gorkha, a petty principality about halfway between Pokhara and Kathmandu. Then in the late 1700s a scion named Prithvi Narayan Shah raised an army of Gurungs, Magars and possibly other hill tribesmen and set out to conquer and consolidate dozens of petty principalities in the himalayan foothills. Since Gorkha had replaced the original Khas homeland as the center of political and military initiative, Khaskura was redubbed Gorkhali, i.e. language of the Gorkhas.

Prithvi Narayan's especially notable military achievement was conquest of the urbanized Kathmandu Valley, on the eastern rim of the Gandaki basin. This region was also called Nepal at the time. Kathmandu became Prithvi Narayan's new capital, then he and his heirs extended their domain east into the Koshi basin, north to the Tibetan Plateau, south into the plains of northern India, and west of the Karnali/Bheri basin.

Expansion, particularly to the north, west and south brought the growing state into conflict with British and Chinese territorial ambitions. This led to wars that trimmed it back to roughly Nepal's present borders or less, however both great powers understood the value of a buffer state and did not attempt to reduce the new country further. Since the Kathmandu Valley or Nepal had become the new center of political initiative, this word gradually came to refer to the entire realm and not just the Kathmandu Valley. And so Gorkhali, language of Gorkha, was again redubbed Nepali.

Nepali is the easternmost of the Pahari languages, a group of related languages spoken across the lower elevations of the Himalaya range, from eastern Nepal through the Indian states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The influence of Nepali language can also be seen in Bhutan and some parts of Myanmar. Nepali developed in proximity to a number of Tibeto-Burman languages, most notably Nepal Bhasa, and shows Tibeto-Burman influences.

Nepali is closely related to Hindi but is more conservative, borrowing fewer words from Persian and English and using more Sanskritic derivations. Today, Nepali is commonly written in the Devanagari script. Bhujimol is an older script native to Nepal. Despite these facts, Nepali is mutually intelligible with Hindi and Urdu speakers

Nepali developed a great literature within a short period of hundreed years in nineteenth century, which was fueled by Adhyatma Ramayana, Sundarananda Bara (1833), Birsikka, an anonymous collection of folk-tales, and a Ramayana by Bhanubhakta. The contribution of trio-lauretes Poudyal,Devkota and Sama took it to the level of other world languages. The contribution of lauretes outside of Nepal,especially from Darjeling and Benaras, is also worth noting in the popularity of this language.

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