Classification of Chhatthare Limbu

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Date: Jan. 2007
From: Contributions to Nepalese Studies(Vol. 34, Issue 1)
Publisher: Research Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies
Document Type: Report; Table
Length: 4,135 words

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The language spoken by the Limbus of the Chhatthar area is called Chhatthare pan or Chhatthare Yakthungba pan 'Chhatthare language' in the native language. This area lies to the east of the Arun along the Leguwa river, which flows through between Chanuwa and Dandagaun VDCs, and Marek Katahare VDC. Chanuwa and Dandagaun VDCs traditionally belong to the Das Majhiyas 'ten Majhiyas' under Chainpur district which is at present in Sangkhuwasabha district. Marek Katahare, on the other hand, belongs to the Chhatthar area and borders Das Majhiya at Pattek on the north. It borders Phedap on the east at Nuwakhola and Panchthar and Chaubish at the Tamar river on the south. The northern boundary extends from the Tamar river along the Tangkhuwa river, which is the border of Chhathar area on the southwest. The river flows from the hill ridge, Sidhuwa, from where its area widens and again extends westward along the ridges. Thus, it includes Leguwa, Jitpur, Marekkatahare, Sanne, Hattikharka, Murtidhungnga, Tangkhuwa, Teliya, Parewadin VDCs in the Dhankuta district and Panchakanya Pokhari, Phakchamara, Hamarjung, Angdim, Phulek, Basantapur, Dangappa, Sudap and Okhre in the Terhathum district. The population of the Chhatthare Limbu 18, 277 (CBS 2002).


Wiedert and Subba (1985), van Driem (1987), Michailovsky (2003), Webster (2001), Kainla (2002) and Grimes (2005) classify Chhatthare as a dialect of Limbu on the basis of socio-linguistic considerations because the Limbus in general consider it as a dialect and the Chhatthare Limbus themselves call it a Limbu language. But on the basis of linguistic analysis, Hanson (1991), Ebert (1994) and Bradley (1997) classify it as a separate language. So, whether Chhatthare is a dialect or a separate language is the problem of this study.


In Nepal four major variants of Limbu--Tamarkhole, Panthare, Phedappe and Chhatthare--are spoken in their respective areas. Among them, Chhatthare Limbu is very different from the other three variants in that it is unintelligible to those speakers who are not related to it by marriage, social contact or cultural touch. Similarly, the other non-Chhatthare variants are also unintelligible to those children who have been brought up purely in the Chhatthare Limbu socio-linguistic milieu. Minor differences in lexical and grammatical forms exist even within the non-Chhatthare variants but they are not as wide as those which are seen between Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare variants. Likewise, the differences among the Chhatthare variants are also minor ones. The non-Chhatthare variants spoken in Nepal are close to those variants spoken in West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya of Indian states and in Myanmar and Bhutan among the third countries and they are mutually intelligible to their speakers. The standard Limbu dialect of Nepal which is very similar to Panthare dialect is intelligible to them. So, in Nepal there is nothing wrong in calling Tamarkhole, Phedappe and Panthare as the dialects of Limbu but it creates a problem in calling Chhatthare as a dialect of Limbu from the viewpoint of acquiring primary education in the mother tongue. The difference between Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare Limbu is ignored because their speakers can make matrimonial alliance and share the same culture, custom, religion, literature and script and in addition, recognize each other as Yakthungba and their language as Yakthungba pan. Chhatthare adults can understand the non-Chhatthare variants because they are used as a lingua franca for communication between Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare Limbus. Besides, on the occasions of religious rituals, cultural programs, marriage ceremony and death rituals, non-Chhatthare Limbu is used. Therefore, this intelligibility can not be called 'inherent intelligibility' but a 'learned one' developed out of social and cultural contacts. Chhatthare people feel that their language variant is different from other variants but do not want to speak this truth because he is emotionally and culturally one with other Limbus and, therefore, do not want to weaken the unity among the Limbus by raising the language difference issue. Other Limbu speakers, on the other hand, have not realized the need to see the difference as they have not ever felt the need to speak Chhatthare Limbu. If the speakers of the Chhatthare language are happy with the status of their language as 'dialect', the speakers of other Limbu dialects will hardly feel the need of classifying it as a different language.

After the establishment of East India Company, British government raised Gurkha regiments and recruited Limbu youths in army. The British diplomat like B. H. Hodgeson and army official like Major Senior took notes of Limbu words from them and listed in their books. Major Senior even compiled a dictionary of Limbu. Dr Konow wrote a grammar of Limbu on the basis of the parable of Limbu and other materials obtained from Major Senior who had collected data from Limbus belonging to different clans or places and assigned the status of dialect either according to the clan name or area name and then classified Limbu into Phedopia dialect, Fagu Rai dialect and Tamarkhola dialect (see Grierson 1909:297-304) without any linguistic analysis. In fact, the dialects of Limbu were designated on geographical basis such as Mewakhole, Maiyakhole, Tamarkhole, Yangrokke, Phedappe, Panthare, Chaubise and Chhatthare. The first linguistic survey was carried out in the three zones -Mechi, Koshi and Sagarmatha of eastern Nepal between the years 1981-1984 by the Linguistic Survey of Nepal funded by the German Research Council with the support of CNAS, Tribhuvan University under the directorship of Prof. Winter. Wiedert was the field supervisor and Bikram Subba was his assistant. Though they might have visited Chhatthar area during the survey, they did not pay attention to the distinctive features of the Chhatthare Limbu. Without the study of field work report, they wrote Concise Limbu Grammar and Dictionary. based on Panthare dialect and got it published in 1985. However, this is the first work which classifies Limbu into four dialects--Mewakhola and Taplejung dialect, Panthare dialect, Phedappe dialect and Chhatthare dialect on the basis of more or less linguistic considerations. The classification of Chhatthare as a dialect of Limbu seems to be predominantly based on socio-linguistic consideration rather than on pure linguistic considerations. Van Driem (1987:XXII-XXIII) also classifies it as a dialect of Limbu following Wiedert and Subba (1985:6) without field work verification. The Rais of the eastern Himalayas (1991) by Hanson classifies it as a separate language on the basis of the field work carried out by the Linguistic Survey of Nepal. Then, other linguists such as Ebert (1994) and Bradley (1997) support it. Grimes (1996: 725) classifies it as a separate language under the Kiranti group of the eastern Himalayan family. It doesn't confirm it as a dialect and leaves it out with the remark 'survey needed'. But in the entry of Limbu, the same ethnologue describes Chhatthare as a dialect of Limbu. Webster (2001:52-53) classifies it as a dialect of Limbu on the basis of mutual intelligibility. Kainla (2003:11) follows Wiederd and Subba, Van Driem and Webster in his classification of Chhatthare as a dialect of Limbu and again Grimes (2005) follows them classifying Chhatthare as a dialect of Limbu. The interesting thing about those who assign Chhatthare the status of dialect of Limbu is that they simply assign the status but they do not include any Chhatthare word as a dialectal variant in their dictionaries.

As a native speaker of Chhatthare Limbu, l feel that it is very different from other dialects such as Phedappe, Panthare and Taplejungge and that Hanson (1991:110) is right in his classification of Chhatthare as a separate language on the basis of linguistic consideration. However, Chhatthare people are so strongly tied to this community culturally and emotionally that they do not want to call it a separate language because they fear that it might disrupt their unity, which they can not even imagine. The fact that Chhatthare is very different from Phedappe is accepted by Van Driem (1987:XXII). He says," Limbu of Chhatthare speakers is virtually wholly unintelligible to Phedappe speakers of the village Tamphula ...' Similarly, Kainla (2059 B.S.: 11) says that Chhatthare is quite distinct from other dialects. In spite of such realization, they still classify it as a dialect because Chhatthare Limbus call their language as Limbu language and they do not want to go against their spirit. Webster (2001) says that he recorded a three minute story in Chhatthare Limbu, played it to the Chhatthare speakers for home test. After the test, he played it to other non-Chhatthare speakers. When he asked them questions related to the text, he found almost all answers correct. Then, he classified it as dialect. In the report (Webster 2001:58-59), he writes, 'Though with clear Chhatthare distinctiveness in its grammar and lexicon, this text was well understood in the Panthare test site. It does not seem warranted to classify Chhatthare, then, as a separate speech variety from Limbu.' However, in the same article (page 65), he has not missed to report that ' For those who have mentioned Chhatthare, 14/17 said they did not understand it or understood little of it. This is very confusing. As a matter of fact, intelligibility as a criterion for the classification of dialect leads to an unexpected result in the classification of Limbu dialects. The Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare Limbu speakers can make relation by marriage. In a single family, mother-in-law might be Tamarkhole Limbu speaker, her eldest daughter-in-law might be Phedappe speaker, her elder daughter-in-law might be a Chhatthare speaker and the rest of the family members might be Panthare speakers. In such a family, due to social contact, non-Chhatthare Limbu speakers might understand Chhatthare Limbu. Chhatthare Limbu and Athpare Rai are two different languages in the vicinity. However, the speakers of each language can understand the language of other speakers. If three minute story recorded in one language is played to the speakers of other language and ask them questions related to the text, they will answer 100% correct. Can Webster call them the dialects of the same language on the basis of intelligibility? Of course, not. The intelligibility here is because of socio-linguistic milieu like the case in Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare mixed family. His informants' backgrounds need cross-checking and his reports reanalyzing.

Comparative Phonology

Consonant Phonemes: All variants of Limbu phonemes can be classified into stop, fricative, affricate, nasal, liquid and semi-vowel on the basis of manner of articulation and into labial, dental, alveolar, velar and glottal phonemes on the basis of place of articulation. Aspiration is a contrastive feature in all of them.

Phedappe Limbu has 18 consonant phonemes and it does not have the phonemes /g/ and /cH/ that the Chhatthare have. Panthare and Taplejungnge have only 17 consonants. They do not have the consonants /b/, /g/ and /cH/ of the Chhatthare Limbu.

Chhatthare Limbu Vowel Phonemes: Chhatthare Limbu has 7 vowels. They are divided into close, half-close, half open and open vowels. The front vowels are unrounded and the back vowels are rounded. They have no vowel length contrast.

In other dialects, all vowels except /e/ and /o/ have length contrast. So, there are twelve vowels in Panthare and Taplejungnge Limbu. Phedappe Limbu has one more vowel // in addition to them.

Comparison of Words: Chhatthare Limbu differs from other dialects in demonstrative pronouns. It also differs from other dialects in many of the words provided in one- hundred word list of Swadesh. Demonstrative pronouns included in Swadesh list has been excluded as they have been compared in a separate table.

Comparison of Verb Paradigms: Chhatthare Limbu has a word l mma for 'to beat' whereas other three dialects have a word hipma for it. The following tables show the comparative verb paradigms of Limbu variants for 'to beat' in past and non past forms.


The comparative study of phonemes, words and verb paradigms show differences and similarities among Limbu variants.

Differences: The above points prove that Chhatthare Limbu differs from other Limbu variants in the following points:

1. Chhatthare Limbu has voiced, bilabial, stop series /b/, /d/ and /g/, voiceless, alveolar affricate /cH/ and palatal trill /r/ whereas they are absent in Panthare Limbu (Wiedert and Subba:1985) and Taplejungnge Limbu (Mikhailovsky:2003). Phedappe (Van Driem:1987) has voiced, bilabial stop /b/ but it doesn't have voiced, velar stop /g/, voiceless, alveolar affricate /cH/ and palatal trill /r/. Although /b/ occurs in Panthare or Taplejungnge dialect as a distinct phoneme in a situation like [ba] 'so' or 'for nothing' as against [pa] 'father', they dismiss the difference viewing that the contrast is not between major word classes for the first word being an adverb and the second being a noun.

2. All three dialects treat /cH/ as the allophone [cH] of the voiceless, alveolar, fricative /s/ and /r/ as the allophone [r] of the phoneme /l/.

3. Chhatthare Limbu has no vowel length contrast whereas the other dialects have.

4. Chhatthare Limbu has entirely different demonstrative pronouns.

5. Out of 44 forms of a verb for 'to beat' in the non-past form, Chhatthare Limbu differs from other dialects in 37 forms and in the past form it differs in 36 forms. In negative past form it differs from other dialects in 42 forms.

6. The second person object suffix is <-na> in 1 [right arrow] 2 configuration whereas in other dialects it is <-ne>. The second person agent or subject prefix and object prefix in 3 [right arrow] 2 configuration is <ka-> in Chhatthare Limbu whereas it is <ke-> in other dialects. The third person plural agent morpheme is <-mu> in 3 [right arrow] 3 configurations in Chhatthare Limbu whereas it is <me-> in other dialects.

7. Negative prefix is <me-~men> in other dialects but in Chhatthare it is <ma-~man>.

8. The first person exclusive marker is <-ge> or <gya-> in other dialects but it is <-Na> in Chhatthare Limbu.

9. In 3s [right arrow] 1s configuration in Chhatthare Limbu, the first person singular object is double marked in both past and non-past forms as well as both affirmative and negative forms where as in other dialects, the object is not double marked.

9. In 3s [right arrow] 1de and 3s-1pe configurations, the object is double marked in the Chhatthare Limbu unlike in other dialects.

10. Chhatthare differs from other dialects in its forms of person, number and case markers.

Now, I am in an embarrassing situation. As a students of linguistics, these points persuade me to call Chhatthare Limbu as a different language, not a dialect of Limbu. However, the spirit of Limbu in me prevents me from calling it a different language for fear that it might break the unity of the Limbus and the member of the Limbu community might curse me for this unpardonable sin. Therefore, I try to find out the common features of all Limbu variants which are shared by the Chhatthare Limbu.

Similarities: On the basis of above paradigms, we can trace out the following common features of Limbu:

a. All Limbu dialects have a three number system-singular, dual and plural which are indicated by the suffixes affixed to verbs.

b. All Limbu dialects have third person non-singular object number in the verb.

c. The first person nonsingular has exclusive and inclusive systems marked by the suffixes that indicate presence or absence of the listener.

d. In all Limbu dialects, in 2 [right arrow] 1, 2 [right arrow] 3 and 1 [right arrow] 3 configurations, both agent and the patient are marked on the verb form.

e. Third person singular subject or agent is unmarked.

f. Second person is unchanged in all types of configurations such as 3 [right arrow] 2, 2 [right arrow] 3 and 2 [right arrow] 1 except in 1 [right arrow] 2 configuration in which a portmanteau is used for both agent and patient. <-na> is used in Chhatthare and <-ne> is used in other dialects.

g. <-a> is a past morpheme in all dialects.

h. A discontinuous negative morpheme is used in all dialects.

   Chhatthare Limbu shares all the above features. After collecting
   the common features of Limbu, I search for reliable base to
   classify it as a dialect.

Analysis: Chhatthare dialect or language?

To ascertain whether Chhatthare is a dialect or a separate language it is necessary to know how these two are defined and differentiated in other languages. Let's study the following definitions:

1. David Crystal (2003) defines dialect as 'regionally or socially distinct variety of language' and it is 'identified by a particular set of words and grammatical structures. Any language with a reasonably large number of speakers will develop dialects if there are geographical barriers separating groups of people from each other, or if there are divisions of social class.' If we follow this definition of 'dialect', then we reach the conclusion that Chhatthare is a dialect because it is spoken in a certain region called 'Chhatthar' separated by geographical barriers like Nuwakhola on the east from where the Phedappe dialect diverges and by the Tamarkhola river on the south from where Panthare dialect starts and by the Arun river on the west from where Rai languages spread. Limbu language as mentioned in the preceding paragraph is spoken in a large area by a great number of population and it has, subsequently, developed dialects like Phedappe, Panthare, Taplejungnge and Chhatthare.

2. There is no really good way to distinguish between a 'language' and a 'dialect' because they are not objective scientific terms. By 'language' we mean generally accepted 'standard' or radio-talk languages of a country, while by 'dialects' we mean homely versions of it that vary from region to region and may not be pronounced the way the so-called 'language' is. If we accept this definition, again we are bound to classify it as a dialect as it is only a local version of Chhatthar. Radio Nepal doesn't air programmes in this variety of Limbu because it has no recognition as accepted 'standard'.

3. According to David Crystal (2003), if variations in pronunciation and lexical items are 'mutually intelligible', they are, generally, considered 'dialects' but if they are 'mutually unintelligible' to the native speakers, they are different 'languages' from a linguistic perspective. It further states that in practice, this criterion, however, is non-functional because Swedes, Norwegians and Danes are 'mutually intelligible' but they are referred to as different 'languages' because of different culture and nationality. Conversely, Mandarine, Cantonese, Hakka etc. are 'mutually unintelligible' but they are referred to as different 'dialects' of the Chinese 'language'. It means that 'dialects' are socially determined. If the speakers of the ' mutually unintelligible variants' are tied emotionally or culturally to each other, they can say that their linguistic variants are 'dialects' of the same 'language' but if they are emotionally unattached and culturally different, they can refer even 'mutually intelligible' variants as different 'languages'. Chhatthare Limbus are emotionally and culturally so tied to other Limbus that they don't want to designate the chatthare variant as a separate 'language'.

4. Max Weinreich is often quoted as saying " A language is a dialect with an army and a navy'. It means that politics often decides what dialect will be a 'language'. Powerful or historically significant groups have a 'language' whereas smaller or weaker ones have 'dialects'. This expression is also contextual in determining the status of Chhatthare variant as a 'dialect' since it is weaker than other dialects in terms of the number of speakers and of the magnitude of the area. Moreover, government has set the 'standard dialect of Limbu' based on Panthare dialect and airs programs through radio in it. Apart from the use as a lingua franca among the Limbus, religious rituals are also performed in Panthare dialect It naturally follows that all variants including Chhatthare are separate 'dialects' of Limbu.


In spite of such strong arguments in favour of a dialect, the fact is that Chhatthare is very different from other dialects of Limbu or let's say from 'the standard dialect of Limbu'. These days, it is believed that children can learn better in their mother tongue than in Nepali because non-Nepli mother tongue speakers can not understand it. The research carried out by Jeff (2001:67) reports that only educated people in the community are proficient in Nepali. Though uneducated people can speak Nepali to meet routine needs, they would have great difficulty understanding or discussing complicated concepts such as religion, politics, emotional and technical issues in Nepali. In addition, their Nepali level is not enough for understanding necessary information about health, nutrition, etc and gaining employment. Maureen (2005:118) reports that almost children and elderly people of Bayung community can't speak Nepali well. It is estimated that a Bayung child needs at least 1-4 years' time to acquire enough Nepali to understand the speech of Nepali speaking teacher. These children need primary education in their mother tongue to acquire functional literacy and math skills after which they are able to gain competence and confidence to tackle other challenges of learning in Nepali. Otherwise, only highly genius, persevering and resourceful child can complete the primary education in Nepali medium and proceed to acquire higher education. Almost all the children can't complete the primary education because of the language problem. This case is applicable even to the Limbu children. They need primary education in their mother tongue. As Chhatthare Limbu is very different from other dialects, its speakers need primary education in their mother tongue. If it is classified as a dialect of Limbu, then, primary education is not delivered in this medium as the present syllabi show. It is delivered only in the standard dialect. To the Chhatthare Children, there is no difference from the viewpoint of difficulty in receiving education in Nepali and the standard Limbu dialect. In such a situation Varenkamp (1996:102) suggests that primary education should be delivered in the mother tongue dialect if it is very different from the language. It dispels the suspicion that primary education is delivered only in one dialect of a language.

Similarly Prof. Dr. Watters in personal communication has suggested a solution to the problem of classification. Accoding to him, Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare Limbu are different languages but they are descended from the same root, the proto-Limbu. This Proto-Limbu first diversified into Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare groups. The non-Chhatthare group slowly diversified into Phedappe, Panthare and Tamarkhole dialects. The chronological relation between Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare dialects is distant whereas the relation among the other dialects of the non-Chhatthare is close. Therefore, Chhatthare is hardly intelligible to the speakers of other dialects.

On the basis of the above discussion, it can be said that in the highest node, there is Sino-Tibetan which splits into Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman. Tibeto-Burman, in turn, can be divided into Bodic, Burmic, Barik and Karenic groups. The Bodic or Tibetic group is divided into Bodish, West Himalayish, Central Himalayish and East Himalayish. The East Himalayish or Kirantish is divided into Limbu and non-Limbu sub-groups and Limbu is further classified into Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare, which is further divided into Phedappe, Panthare and Taplejungnge dialects. This phenomenon can be shown in the following tree diagram following Shafer (1966-1974) model:

I think it will be the best solution as it preserves the spirit of unity among the Limbus by demonstrating the close family relation between Chhatthare and non-Chhatthare Limbu. On the other hand, it clearly exhibits the marked differences between the two languages. Thus, both community spirit and language reality are preserved.

Symbols and Abbreviations

1 First person

2 Second person

3 Third person

4. A Agent

5. d Dual

6. e Exclusive

7. I Inclusive

8. NEG Negative

9. NOM Nominalizer

10. NPT Non-past

11. ns Non-singular

12. O Object

13. p Plural

14. PT Past

15. S Subject

16. s Singular

17. VDC Village Development Committee


B. Lee Maureen. 2005. Bayung Rai: A Sociolinguistic Survey. Kirtipur: Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies, TU.

Bradley, David. 1997. Tibeto-Burman languages and classification. In David Bradley (ed.), Tibeto-Burman languages of the Himalayas, 1-72, Papers in Southeast Asian Linguistics, no. 14, Pacific Linguistics, Series A, No. 86.

Central Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Population Census. Kathmandu: National Planning Commission.

Crystal, David. 2003. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 5th edition, Blackwell Publishing.

Driem, George van. 1987. A Grammar of Limbu. Berlin: Mount de Gruyter.

Ebert Karen H. 1994. The Structure of Kiranti Languages. Zurich: ASAS--Verlag.

Grierson, George 1909. Linguistic Survey of India. Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing.

Grimes. E. Barbara (ed.) 1996. Ethnologue: languages of the world. 13th edition. SIL Publication.

Grimes, E. Barbara (ed.) 2005. Ethnologue: languages of the world. 15th edition. SIL Publication.

Hanson, Gerd 1991. The Rai of Eastern Nepal: Ethnic and Linguistic Grouping. Kathmandu: Tribhuvan University.

Kainla, Bairagi (ed.). 2052 B.S. Limbu-Nepali-English Dictionary. Kathmandu: Royal Nepal Academy.

Mikhailavosky, Boyd. 2002. Limbu English dictionary of the Mewakhola dialect. Kathmandu: Mandala Book point.

Shafer, Robert. 966-74. Introduction to Sino-Tibetan.Wiesbaden: Otto Harassowitz.

Varenkamp, Bryan K. 1996. Tamang Tam: A sociolinguistic Study of Eastern Tamang Dialects (in Nepal). Kirtipur: Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies, TU.

Webster, Jeffrey D. 2001. A Sociolinguistic Study of Limbu. Journal of Nepalese Literature, Art and Culture. Kathmandu: Royal Nepal Academy.

Weidert, A. and B. Subba. 1985. Concise Limbu Grammar and Dictionary, Amsterdam: Lobster Publications.

Table 1: Consonant phonemes of Chhatthare Limbu

             labial   dental   alveolar    palatal    velar   glottal

Stop         p        t                               k g     ?
             b        tH                              kH
Fricative                      s                              h
Affricate                      c
Nasal        m        n                               n
Liquid                         r           l
Semi-        w                             y

Table 2: Vowel phonemes of Chhatthare Limbu

Close       i                       u
Half-close  e                 o
Half-open     E
Open                 a

Table 3: Demonstrative pronouns of Limbu variant

No.   Demonstratives     Chhatthare       Panthare

1     this               kumba            k n
2     these (two)        kumbaghachi      k nhasi
3     these (many)       kumbagha         k nha
4     that               hamba            hen
5     those (two)        hambaghachi      henhasi
6     those (many)       hambagha         henha

No.   Phedappe           Taplejungnge

1     k n                en
2     k nha?             en-ha
3     k nha?             en-ha
4     khen
5     khenha
6     khenha

Table 4: Limbu variants of Swadesh words

No     Words          Chhatthare     Panthare

1.     I              a              anga
2.     who            sa             ha?
3.     what           hE             the
4.     not            Ekhan          men
5.     all            kErEk          kak
6.     man            napmi          yapmi/m na
7.     hair           thaik          thegek
8      head           thaik          thegek
9      nose           nabo           nebo?
10.    tongue         lEkpha         lesot
11     foot           lan            lanbho
12.    neck           p kla          ninma
13.    drink          thun-u?        thun-e?
14     eat            c ?            ce?
15     bite           har-u?         ha?r-e?
16.    see            mEtt-u?        omett-e'?
17     hear           khEps-u?       kheps-e?
18     know           lEh-u?         less-e?
19.    sleep          ips-a?         ips-e?
20     die            siy-a?         se?
21     kill           sEr-u?         ser-e?
22     swim           wajakk-a?      wa-jakt-e?
23.    fly            pey-a?         per-e?
24     walk           langhEg-a?     langheg-e?
25     come           phEr-a?        pher-e?
26     lie            nEh-a          ness-e?
27     sit            yun-a?         yun-e?
28     stand          Eb-a?          yeb-e?
29.    give           piy-u?         pir-e?
30.    say            pat-u?         pat-e?
31     star           khEsemikpa     khese?
32     rain           wahit          wahit
33.    burn           thind-u?       thind-e?
34.    green          kubhinla       s rekkyappa
35     night          yunchik        sendik
36.    cold           kajiba         kesemba
37     full           ku-dim         ku-lem
38     hot            ka oba         kegoba
39.    dry            kahEba         keheba

No     Pheda          Taplejungnge

1.     anga           anga
2.     en             hat
3.     hen            the
4.     men            men
5.     kerek          kerek
6.     m na           yapmi
7.     thegek         thegek
8      thegek         thegek
9      nebo           nebo
10.    lesot          lesot
11     lanbho         lanbho
12.    ninma          ninma
13.    thun-e?        thun-e?
14     ce?            ce?
15     ha?r-e?        ha?r-e
16.    Amett-e        omett-e
17     kheps-e?       kheps-e?
18     less-e?        less-e?
19.    ips-e?         ips-e?
20     se?            se?
21     ser-e?         ser-e?
22     wa-jakt-e?     wa-jakt-e?
23.    per-e?         per-e?
24     laggheg-e?     laggheg-e?
25     pher-e?        pher-e?
26     ness-e?        ness-e?
27     yun-e?         yun-e?
28     yeb-e?         yeb-e?
29.    pir-e?         pir-e?
30.    pat-e?         pat-e?
31     khese?         khesek
32     w hit          hit
33.    thind-e?       thind-e?
34.    s rekkyappa    s rekkyappa
35     sendik         sendik
36.    kesemba        kesemba
37     ku-lem         ku-lem
38     kegoba         kegoba
39.    keheba         keheba

Table 5: Comparative verb paradigms of Limbu variants for 'to beat'
in non-past form

N.      Person               Chhatthare             Panthare

1.      1s-2s                l m-na                 hip-nE?
2.      1s-2d                l m-na-chi-n           hip-nE-chi-n?
3.      1s-2p                l m-na-ni-n            hip-ni-n
4.      1nse-2               l m-nE-chi-na          hip-ne-tchi-gya
5.      1ns-3s               l ps-u-n               hipt-u-n?
6.      1s-3ns               l ps-u-n-si-n          hipt-u-n-si-n?
7.      1di-3s               a-l m-ch-u             a-hip-s-u?
8.      1di-3ns              a-l m-ch-u-si          a-hip-s-u-si?
9.      1de-3s               l m-ch-u-n-a           hipsugya?
10.     1de-3ns              l m-ch-u-si-n-a        hip-s-u-si-gya
11.     1pi-3s               a-l ps-u-m             a-hipt-u-m?
12      1pi-3ns              a-l ps-u-m-si-m        a-hipt-u-m-si-m?
13      1pe-3s               l ps-u-m-ma            hipt-u-m-ba?
14      1pe-3ns              l ms-u-m-si-m-ma       hipt-u-m-si-m-ba?
15      2s-1s                ka-l m-ma              kE-hip-a?
16.     2-1                  ka-l m                 yapmi kE-hip
17      2s-3s                ka-l ps-u              kE-hipt-u?
18      2s-3ns               ka-l ps-u-si           kE-hipt-u-si?
19      2d-3s                ka-l m-ch-u            kE-hip-s-u?
20      2d-3ns               ka-l m-ch-u-si         kE-hip-s-u-si?
21      2p-3s                ka-l ps-u-m            kE-hipt-u-m?
22      2p-3ns               ka-l ps-u-m-si-m       kE-hipt-u-m-si-m?
23      3s-1s                a-l m-ma               hip-a?
24      3s-1di               a-l m-chi              a-hip-si?
25      3s-1de               a-l m-chi-n-a          yapmi hip?
26      3S-1pi               a-l ps-i/a-l m         a-hip?
27      3s-1pe               a-l ps-i-n-a           yapmi hip?
28      3ns-1s               a-n-l m-ma             yapmi hip-si?
29      3ns-1di              a-n-l m-chi            a-m-hip-si?
30      3ns-1de              a-n-l m-chi-n-a        yapmi hip?
31      3ns-1pi              a-n-l ps-i             a-m-hip?
32      3ns-1pe              a-n-l ps-i-n-a         yapmi hip?
33      3s-2s                ka-l m                 kE-hip?
34      3s-2d                ka-l m-chi             kE-hip-si?
35      3s-2p                ka-l ps-i              kE-hipp-i
36      3ns 2s               ka-n-l m               kE-m-hip?
37      3ns-2d               ka-n-l m-chi           kE-m-hip-si?
38      3ns-2p               ka-n-l ps-i            kE-ni-hipp-i
39      3s-3s                l ps-u                 hipt-u?
40      3s-3ns               l ps-u-si              hipt-u-si?
41      3d-3s                l m-ch-u               hip-s-u?
42      3d-3ns               l m-ch-u-si            hip-s-u-si?
43      3p--3s               mu-l ps-u              me-hipt-u
44      3p-3ns               mu-l ps-u-si           me-hipt-u-si

N.      Phedappe             Taplejungge

1.      hip-nE               hip-nE
2.      hip-nE-chi-n         hip-nE-si-n
3.      hip-ni-n             hip-ni-n
4.      hip-ne-chi-gE        hip-ne-si-gE
5.      hipt-u-n             hipt-u-n
6.      hipt-u-n-si-n        hipt-u-n-si-n
7.      a-hip-s-u            a-hip-s-u
8.      a-hip-s-u-si         a-hip-s-u-si
9.      hip-s-u-gE           hip-s-u-gE
10.     hip-s-u-si-gE        hip-s-u-si-gE
11.     a-hipt-u-m           a-hipt-u-m
12      a-hipt-u-m-si-m      a-hipt-u-m-si-m
13      hipt-u-m-be          hipt-u-m-be
14      hipt-u-m-si-m-be     hipt-u-m-si-m-be
15      kE-hip-?E            kE-hip-ma
16.     a-gE-hip             a-gE-hip
17      kE-hipt-u            kE-hipt-u
18      kE-hipt-u-si         kE-hipt-u-si
19      kE-hip-s-u           kE-hip-s-u
20      kE-hip-s-u-si        kE-hip-s-u-si
21      kE-hipt-u-m          kE-hipt-u-m
22      kE-hipt-u-m-si-m     kE-hipt-u-m-si-m
23      hip-?E               hip-ma
24      a-hip-si             a-hip-si
25      hip-si-gE            hip-si-gE
26      a-hip                a-hip
27      hipti-gE             hipt-i-gE
28      mE-hu-?E             mE-hip-ma
29      a-m-hip-si           a-m-hips-i
30      me-hip-si-gE         me-hip-si-gE
31      a-m-hip              a-m-hip
32      mE-hipt-i-gE         mE-hipt-i-
33      kE-hip               kE-hip
34      kE-hip-si            kE-hip-si
35      kE-hipt-i            kE-hipt-i
36      kE-m-hip             kE-m-hip
37      kE-m-hip-si          kE-m-hip-si
38      kE-m-hipt-i          kE-m-hipt-i
39      hipt-u               hipt-u
40      hipt-u-si            hipt-u-si
41      hip-s-u              hips-u
42      hip-s-u-si           hips-u-si
43      me-hipt-u            me-hipt-u
44      me--hipt-u-si        me-hipt-u-si
44      me--hipt-u-si        me-hipt-u-si

Table 6: Comparative verb paradigms of bimbo variants for 'to beat'
in past form

N.    Person    Chhatthare           Panthare

1.    1s-2s     l m-na               hip-nE
2.    1s-d2     l m-na-chi-n         hip-nE-chi-n
3.    1s-2p     l m-na-ni-n          hip-ni-n
4.    1nse-2    l m-ne-chi-na        hip-ne-tchi-gya
5.    1s-3s     l ps-u-n             hipt-u-n
6.    1s-3ns    l ps-u-n-si-n        hipt-u-n-si-n
7.    1di-3s    a-l m-ch-u           a-hip-s-u
8.    1di-3ns   a-l ps-a-ch-u-si     a-hipt-e-cch-u-si?
9.    1de-3s    l ps-a-ch-u-n-a      hipt-e-cchugya?
10.   1de-3ns   l ps-a-ch-u-si-n-a   hipt-e-cch-u-si-gya
11.   1pi-3s    a-l ps-u-m           a-hipt-u-m
12    1pi-3ns   a-l ps-u-m-si-m      a-hipt-u-m-si-m
13    1pe-3s    1 ps-u-m-ma          hipt-u-m-ba
14    1pe-3ns   1 ps-u-m-si-m-ma     hipt-u-m-si-m-ba
15    2s-1s     ka-l ps-a-n          kE-hipt-a-n
16.   2-1       ka-l ps-a-n          yapmi kE-hipt-a
17    2s-3s     ka-l ps-u            kE-hipt-u
18    2s-3ns    ka-l ps-u-si         kE-hipt-u-si
19    2d-3s     ka-l ps-a-ch-u       kE-hipt-e-cchu- u
20    2d-3ns    ka-l ps-a-ch-u-si    kE-hipt-e-cch-u-si
21    2p-3s     ka-l ps-u-m          kE-hipt-u-m
22    2p-3ns    ka-l ps-u-m-si-m     kE-hipt-u-m-si-m
23    3s-1s     a-l ps-a-n           hipt-a-n
24    3s-1di    a-l ps-a-chi         a-hipt-e-cchi
25    3s-1de    a-l ps-a-chi--a      yapmi hipt-a
26    3S-1pi    a-l ps-i/a-l ps-a    a-hipt-a
27    3s-1pe    a-l ps-i-n-a         yapmi hipt-a
28    3ns-1s    a-n-l ps-a-n         yapmi hipt-a
29    3ns-1di   a-n-l ps-a-chi       a-m-hipt-e-cchi
30    3ns-1de   a-n-l ps-a-chi-n-a   yapmi hipt-a
31    3ns-1pi   a-n-l ps-i           a-m-hipt-a
32    3ns-1pe   a-n-l ps-i-n-a       yapmi hipt-a
33    3s-2s     ka-l ps-a            kE-hipt-a
34    3s-2d     ka-l ps-a-chi        kE-hipt-cchi
35    3s-2p     ka-l ps-i            kE-hipp-i
36    3ns-2s    ka-n-l ps-a          kE-m-hipp-a
37    3ns-2d    ka-n-l ps-a-chi      kE-m-hipt-e-cchi
38    3ns-2p    ka-n-l ps-i          kE-m-hipp-i
39    3s-3s     l ps-u               hipt-u
40    3s-3ns    l s-u-si             hipt-u-si
41    3d-3s     l ps-a-ch-u          hipt-e-cch-u
42    3d-3ns    l ps-a-ch-u-si       hipt-e-cch-u-si?
43    3p-3s     mu-l ps-u            me-hipt-u
44    3p-3ns    mu-l ps-u-si         me-hipt-u-si

N.    Phedappe             Taplejungge

1.    hip-nE               hip-nE
2.    hip-nE-chi-n         hip-nE-si-n
3.    hip-ni-n             hip-ni-n
4.    hip-ne-chi-gE        hip-ne-si-gE
5.    hipt-u-n             hipt-u-n
6.    hipt-u-n-si-n        hipt-u-n-si-n
7.    a-hip-s-u            a-hip-s-u
8.    a-hipt-e-tch-u-si    a-hipt-e-s-u-si
9.    hipt-e-tch-u-gE      hipt-e-s-u-gE
10.   hip-s-u-si-gE        hip-s-u-si-gE
11.   a-hipt-u-m           a-hipt-u-m
12    a-hipt-u-m-si-m      a-hipt-u-m-si-m
13    hipt-u-m-be          hipt-u-m-be
14    hipt-u-m-si-m-be     hipt-u-m-si-m-be
15    kE-hipt-a-n          kE-hipt-a-n
16.   a-gE-hipt-E          a-gE-hipt-E
17    kE-hipt-u            kE-hipt-u
18    kE-hipt-u-si         kE-hipt-u-si
19    kE-hipt-e-tch-u      kE-hipt-e-s-u
20    kE-hipt-e-tch-u-si   kE-hipt-e-ch-u-si
21    kE-hipt-u-m          kE-hipt-u-m
22    kE-hipt-u-m-si-m     kE-hipt-u-m-si-m
23    hipt-a-n             hipt-a-n
24    a-hipt-e-tchi        a-hipt-e-si
25    hipt-e-tchi-gE       hipt-e-si-gE
26    a-hipt-E             a-hipt-E
27    hipti-gE             hipt-i-gE
28    mE-hipt-a-n          mE-hipt-a-n
29    a-m-hipt-e-tchi      a-m-hipt-e-si
30    me-hipt-e-tchi-gE    me-hipt-e-si-gE
31    a-m-hipt-E           a-m-hipt-E
32    mE-hipt-i-gE         mE-hipt-i-gE
33    kE-hipt-E            kE-hipt-E
34    kE-hipt-e-tchi       kE-hipt-e-si
35    kE-hipt-i            kE-hipt-i
36    kE-m-hipt-E          kE-nihipt-E
37    kE-m-hipt-e-tchi     kE-m-hipt-E-si
38    kE-m-hipt-i          kE-m-hipt-i
39    hipt-u               hipt-u
40    hipt-u-si            hipt-u-si
41    hipt-e-tch-u         hipt-e-s-u
42    hipt-e-tch-u-si      hipt-e-s-u-si
43    me-hipt-u            me-hipt-u
44    me-hipt-u-si         me-hipt-u-si

Table 7: Comparative negative verb paradigms of Limbu variants for
'to not beat' in non-past form

N.    Person   Chhatthare       Panthare

1.    1s-2s    ma-l m-na-n      me-hip-nE-n
2.    1s-2d    ma-l m-na-       me-hip-nE-
               chi-n-nen        chi-n-nin
3.    1s-2p    ma-l m-na-       me-hip-ni-n-
               ni-n-nen         nin
4.    1nse-2   ma-l m-ne-       me-hip-ne-
               chi-na-n         tchi-gya-in
5.    1s-3s    ma-l m-m-a-      me-hip-ma-n
6.    1s-3ns   ma-l m-m-a-      me-hip-ma-n-
               n-chin           chin
7.    1di-3s   a-n-l m-ch-u-    a-n-hip-s-u-n
8.    1di-     a-n-l m-ch-u-    a-n-hip-s-u-si-
      3ns      si-n             n
9.    1de-3s   ma-l m-ch-u-     me-hipsugya-
               n-a-n            in?
10.   1de-     ma-l m-ch-u-     me-hip-s-u-si-
      3ns      si-n-a-n         gya-in
11.   1pi-3s   a-n-l ps-u-m-    a-n-hipt-u-m-
               nen              min?
12    1pi-     a-n-l ps-u-m-    a-n-hipt-u-m-
      3ns      si-m-nen         si-m-min?
13    1pe-3s   ma-l ps-u-m-     me-hipt-u-m-
               ma-n             ba-in?
14    1pe-     ma-l ps-u-m-     me-hipt-u-m-
      3ns      si-m-ma-n        si-m-ba-in?
15    2s-1s    ka-n-l m-ma-     kE-n-hip-a-
               n                in?
16    2-1      ka-n-l m-ma-     yapmi kE-n-
               n                hip-pin
17    2s-3s    ka-n-l ps-u-n    kE-n-hipt-u-
18    2s-3ns   ka-n-l ps-u-     kE-n-hipt-u-
               si-n             si-n?
19    2d-3s    ka-n-l m-ch-     kE-n-hip-s-u-
               u-n              n?
20    2d-3ns   ka-n-l m-ch-     kE-n-hip-s-u-
               u-si-n           si-n?
21    2p-3s    ka-n-l ps-u-     kE-n-hipt-u-
               m-nen            m-min?
22    2p-3ns   ka-n-l ps-u-     kE-n-hipt-u-
               m-si-m-nen       m-si-m-min?
23    3s-1s    a-n-l m-ma-n     me-hip-a-n?
24    3s-1di   a-n-l m-chi-n    a-n-hip-si-n?
25    3s-1de   a-n-l m-chi-     yapmi me-
               n-a-n            hip-pin
26    3S-1pi   a-n-n-l ps-i-    a-m-men-hip-
               n/a-n-l m-       pin
27    3s-1pe   a-n-n-l ps-i-    yapmi me-
               n-a-n            hip-pin
28    3ns-1s   a-n-n-l m-       yapmi me-
               ma-n             hip-si-n?
29    3ns-     a-n-n-l m-       a-m-men-hip-
      1di      chi-n            si-n?
30    3ns-     a-n-n-l m-       yapmi me-
      1de      chi-n-a-n        hip-pin?
31    3ns-     a-n-n-l ps-i-n   a-m-men-hip-
      1pi                       pin?
32    3ns-     a-n-n-l ps-i-    yapmi men-
      1pe      n-a-n            hip-pin?
33    3s-2s    ka-n-l m-nen     kE-n-hip-pin?
34    3s-2d    ka-n-l m-chi-    kE-n-hip-si-n
35    3s-2p    ka-n-l ps-i-n    kE-n-hipp-i-n
36    3ns-2s   ka-n-n-l m-      kE-m-men-
               nen              hip-pin
37    3ns-2d   ka-n-n-l m-      kE-m-men-
               chi-n            hip-si-n?
38    3ns-2p   ka-n-n-l ps-i-   kE-m-men-
               n                hipp-i-n
39    3s-3s    ma-l ps-u-n      me-hipt-u-n?
40    3s-3ns   ma-l ps-u-si-    me-hipt-u-si-
               n                n?
41    3d-3s    ma-l m-ch-u-     me-hip-s-u-n?
42    3d-3ns   ma-l m-ch-u-     me-hip-s-u-si-
               si-n             n?
43    3p-3s    man-l ps-u-n     me-n-hipt-u-n
44    3p-3ns   man-l ps-u-      me-n-hipt-u-
               si-n             si-n

N.    Phedappe           Taplejungge

1.    me-hip-nE-n        me-hip-nE-n
2.    me-hip-nE-chi-     me-hip-nE-si-n-
      n-nen              nen
3.    me-hip-ni-n-nen    me-hip-ni-n-nen
4.    nie-hip-ne-chi-    me-hip-ne-si-
      gE-n               gE-n
5.    me-liip-?E-n       me-hip-ma-n
6.    me-hipt-u-n-si-    me-hipt-u-n-si-
      n-nen              n-nen
7.    a-n-hip-s-u-n      a-n-hip-s-u-n
8.    a-n-hip-s-u-si-n   a-n-hip-s-u-si-n
9.    me-hip-s-u-gE-n    me-hip-s-u-gE-n
10.   me-hip-s-u-si-     me-hip-s-u-si-
      gE-n               gE-n
11.   a-n-hipt-u-m-      a-n-hipt-u-m-
      nen                nen
12    a-n-hipt-u-m-si-   a-n-hipt-u-m-si-
      m-nen              m-nen
13    me-hipt-u-m-be-    me-hipt-u-m-be-
      n                  n
14    me-hipt-u-m-si-    me-hipt-u-m-si-
      m-be-n             m-be-n
15    kE-n-hip-?E-n      kE-n-hip-ma-n
16    a-gE-n-hip-nen     a-gE-n-hip-nen
17    kE-n-hipt-u-n      kE-n-hipt-u-n
18    kE-n-hipt-u-si-n   kE-n-hipt-u-si-n
19    kE-n-hip-s-u-n     kE-n-hip-s-u-n
20    kE-n-hip-s-u-si-   kE-n-hip-s-u-si-
      n                  n
21    kE-n-hipt-u-m-     kE-hit-u-m-nen
22    kE-n-hipt-u-m-     kE-n-hipt-u-m-
      si-m-nen           si-m-nen
23    me-hip-?E-n        me-hip-ma-n
24    a-n-hip-si-n       a-n-hip-si-n
25    me-hip-si-gE-n     me-hip-si-gE-n
26    a-m-men-hip-       a-m-men-hip-
      nen                nen
27    me-hipti-gE-n      me-hipt-i-gE-n
28    mE-n-hip-?E-n      mE-n-hip-ma-n
29    a-m-men-hip-si-    a-m-men-hips-i-
      n                  n
30    me-n-hip-si-gE-    me-n-hip-si-gE-
      n                  n
31    a-m-men-hip-       a-m-men-hip-
      nen                nen
32    mE-n-hipt-i-gE-    mE-n-hipt-i-gE-
      n                  n
33    kE-n-hip-nen       kE-n-hip-nen
34    kE-n-hip-si-n      kE-n-hip-si-n
35    kE-n-hipt-i-n      kE-n-hipt-i-n
36    kE-m-men-hip-      kE-m-men-hip-
      nen                nen
37    kE-m-men-hip-      kE-m-men-hip-
      si-n               si-n
38    kE-m-men-hipt-     kE-m-men-hipt-
      i-n                i-n
39    me-hipt-u-n        me-hipt-u-n
40    me-hipt-u-si-n     me-hipt-u-si-n
41    me-hip-s-u-n       me-hips-u-n
42    me-hip-s-u-si-n    me-hips-u-si-n
43    me-n-hipt-u-n      me-n-hipt-u-n
44    me-n-hipt-u-si-n   me-n-hipt-u-si-n

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A183984495