Kham

Authored by: David E. Watters

The Sino-Tibetan Languages

Print publication date:  December  2002
Online publication date:  May  2006

Print ISBN: 9780700711291
eBook ISBN: 9780203221051
Adobe ISBN: 9781135797188

10.4324/9780203221051.ch42

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Abstract

Kham, in all its varieties, is spoken in the upper valleys of the Rukum, Rolpa, and Baglung Districts of West Central Nepal by some forty or fifty thousand people. The majority of Kham speakers are Budhas, Puns, Ghartis, and Rokhas – all classified ethnographically as subtribes or clans of the Magar tribe. Geographically, the four Kham speaking subtribes are cut off from the rest of the Magar population by more than a week’s walk over rugged, mountainous terrain. Though a comparison of basic vocabulary reveals no more of a special relationship between Kham and Magar than it does between Kham and other Himalayan languages, a careful examination of more innovative vocabulary makes it apparent that Magar is indeed Kham’s closest relative.

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