This book provides a comprehensive description of Bhujel, a previously undescribed and endangered Tibeto-Burman language spoken by about 3,923 ethnic Bhujel, most of them living along the Mahabharata mountain range of Tanahun, Gorkha, Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts of Nepal. It investigates phonological and morphosyntactic features in Bhujel and compares them, from a typological perspective, with those characteristic structural features in both Bodish and Himalayish languages.
Bhujel, an atonal and consistently ergative language, is characterized by a complex verb agreement pattern indexing person, number and inclusivity in the verb complex. Person marking, based exclusively on the hierarchical ranking of the participants (i.e.1→2, 1→3, 2→3), sometimes encodes the agent and sometimes the patient but not both at a time.
Uniquely, the verb is also marked by suffix -u in 1→2, 1→3, 2→3, along person and number suffixes, to encode the direct relations of the participants. Like tense, such marking is neutralized in negative constructions in Bhujel. However, the inverse relation of participants (i.e. 2→1, 3→1, or 3→2), somewhat counter to universal expectations, remains unmarked.
The author, Dr. Dan Raj Regmi, is Associate Professor and Head of Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal and has specialized in Tibeto-Burman linguistics, sociolinguistic survey and language documentation.