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Brandeis University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change


Language, the content and form of what people choose to say, has the ability to both describe facts about the world and change aspects of the world. Thus, what people utter is a critical instrument for measuring current social situations as well as social change. The honorific hierarchy of Nepali’s pronouns provides one particularly interesting tool for such measurement. This research examines the use and ideologies about second person pronouns in the village of Dabhung Thanti, Nepal in relation to their prescribed uses and ideologies in Kathmandu. Ultimately, this paper identifies the presence of two styles of Nepali spoken in Dabhung Thanti that create divisions between residents who have spent time in Kathmandu and those who have not.


Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Comparative and Historical Linguistics | Linguistic Anthropology


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