This is a grammar sketch of Khwopa Newar, a dialect of Newar, from a functional-typological perspective. This dialect is spoken by 200,000 Newar in Bhaktapur district of Nepal. Unlike other dialects, it exhibits phonemic velar nasal, nasalized vowels, consonant-glide clustering, devoicing, overt genitive marking and evidentiality marked by tense. Only in Khwopa Newar, the nouns may be followed by pronouns in constructions to express high honorificity. Nonetheless, it shares a number of structural features with other dialects of Newar. Some of them include a five-vowel system with length and nasal distinction, atonality, consistently ergative marking, duality and inclusive-exclusive distinction.
Moreover, both tense and aspect in Khwopa Newar heavily interact with the semantic feature of conjunct-disjunct, as in standard Newar. It makes use of both nominal and verbal classifiers. SOV is the basic word order; however, the word order seems to be relatively free as in other dialects. A change in word order generally triggers a change in meaning. A noun is modified by both pre-modifiers and post-modifiers. It employs both lexical and clausal nominalization; and nominalized clauses are realized in a number of syntactic constructions. Clause combining in Khwopa Newar is controlled by both finite and non-finite verbal forms.
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.