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Kumaon Language

Kumaoni language

Kumaoni language
Their Kumaoni language forms the Central subgroup of the Pahari languages.

Kumaoni is one of the 325 recognized Indian languages, and is spoken by over 2,360,000 (1998) people in Uttarakhand, primarily in districts Almora, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar as well as in areas of Himachal Pradesh and Nepal. It is also spoken by Kumaonis resident in other Indian states; Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.

UNESCO‚Äôs Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger designates Kumaoni as language in the “unsafe” category and which requires consistent conservation efforts.

Dialects of Kumaoni language

Although dialects of Kumaoni do not vary as greatly as neighboring Garhwali dialects, there are several dialects spoken in the Kumaon region. There is not single accepted method of dividing up the dialects of Kumaoni. Broadly speaking, Kali (or Central) Kumaoni is spoken in Almora and northern Nainital. North-eastern Kumaoni is spoken in Pithoragarh. South-eastern Kumapni is spoken in South-eastern Nainital. Western Kumaoni is spoken west of Almora and Nainital.

More specifically:

  • Johari of the Johar Valley
  • Askoti of Askot
  • Bhabhri of Ramnagar
  • Chaugarkhiyali of Chaugarkha
  • Danpuriya of Danpur
  • Gangoli of Ganai-Gangoli (Gangolihat)
  • Johari of Malla and Talla Johar
  • Khasparjiya of Almora
  • Kumaiya of Champawat
  • Pachhai of Pali-Pachhau (Ranikhet, Dwarahat)
  • Pashchimi
  • Phaldakotiya of Phaldkot
  • Rau-Chaubyansi, (Nainital)
  • Sirali of Sirakot (Didihat)
  • Soriyali of Sor Valley (Pithoragarh)
  • Bautadi of Baitada,
  • Dotiyali of Doti
  • Scholars believe that Kumaoni has heavily influenced the Palpa language of Nepal. There are also several unrelated Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in the Kumaon region which have had some influence from Kumaoni.

These languages are typically spoken in Upper Reaches of Kumaon Himalayas.

  • Rang or Rung
  • Darmyali
  • Bangbani