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the official language of Nepal, also spoken in Sikkim and parts of India. It forms the E group of Pahari and belongs to the Indic branch of Indo-European



(1) The name for all citizens of Nepal.

(2) The self-designation common among the peoples of Nepal for those who joined the Gurkha confederation and were gradually consolidated into a single people, now accounting for about half of the country’s population. They speak Nepali. (For the history, economy, and culture of the Nepali, see.)



(also Gurkhali or Khas-Kura), the language of the Nepali, and also the official language of Nepal; it is also spoken in India (the city of Darjeeling and several other regions in Assam State; also in the northwestern regions), Sikkim, and Bhutan. Nepali is spoken by more than 7 million people (more than 6 million speakers in Nepal, 1971 census; more than 800,000 in India). Nepali belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is divided into four dialects: Central, or Standard, Nepali; Eastern Nepali; Western Nepali; and the dialect of the foothills of the Himalayas.

The phonological features of Nepali include the presence of long and short vowels, opposition of pure (nonnasalized) and nasalized vowels, and the presence of retroflex consonants. The structure is analytic-synthetic, with a predominance of analytism. Words derived from Sanskrit are the basis of the vocabulary. Grammatical features include masculine and feminine gender of nouns (the masculine gender also includes inanimate objects) and two types of case forms, nominative and postpositional. There is also an ergative-postpositional subject. The verb has synthetic and analytic impersonal forms and five moods (optative, suppositional subjunctive, irrealis, and so on). Verb forms are combined to express intensity, duration of action, and other features. In composite sentences, the subordinate clause precedes the main clause. Nepali uses the Devanagari, or Nagari, script. The first written text dates from 1337. Since the early 19th century, a literary language has been developing from the central dialect.


Zograf, G. A. Iazyki Indii, Pakistana, Tseilona i Nepala. Moscow, 1960.
Korolev, N. I. Iazyk Nepala. Moscow, 1965. (Includes bibliography.) Nepal’sko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1968. Pages 1211–1328.
Srivastava, Dayanand. Nepali Language: Its History and Development. Calcutta, 1962.
Turner, R. L. A Comparative and Etymological Dictionary of the Nepali Language. New York, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
In what may further alienate Delhi, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), which is ruling the country in partnership with Nepali Congress (NC), has sent student volunteers to Tatopani to help Nepali and Chinese officials rebuild the border point that saw death and devastation in the earthquake.
Now, social media is allowing Nepalis to push the government toward transparency and we are seeing the authorities respond.
Heartbroken Nepali workers in the UAE who lost relatives in last month's earthquake but cannot afford to fly home to say goodbye can now get help to pay the airfare.
A Reuters correspondent flew on a Nepali military helicopter along the Tamakoshi river that runs by the town of Charikot, in the mountainous Dolakha district worst hit by Tuesday's 7.
Walker said the grants would support both immediate relief and strengthen Nepali organizations that will be critical to longer-term recovery.
Global IME Bank said that as UBI s services are focused on the north-eastern parts of India, the partnership with IDBI, which has a larger footprint in southern India, will benefit Nepalis residing and working there.
Apart from the generic sense of reverence Nepalis have for the anti-apartheid fighter, the country has recently tried to emulate the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa; a court-like restorative justice body where victims of gross human rights violations are given chance to share their experiences, with some given the chance of a public hearing.
A Nepali worker who was seriously injured in a work site accident has been given QR192,000 as compensation by his employer, according to reports.
According to the Himalayan Times , Qatar's Labour Ministry agreed to confirm whether information in a contract paper tallies with one verified by the Nepali embassy or Qatar's Chamber of Commerce .
Some 11,000 Nepalis living in Jeddah, another 2,500 residing in Dammam and 16,000 living in Riyadh had applied for the exit pass and have already received it, said the embassy's deputy chief, Harish Chandra Ghimire.
The GDN reported on March 8 that an increased death rate among Nepalis in Bahrain was causing concern among community leaders.
Organisers said athletes from Bangladesh and Pakistan had registered to take part despite the dangers, alongside around 250 Nepalis and 100 from other countries including Russia and Denmark.