Sunwar is a member of the Kiranti branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken by about 40,000 people mainly in eastern Nepal, especially in the villages of Dolakha and Ramechhap in the Janakpur zone, and in the village of Okhaldhunga in the Sagarmatha zone. There are also some speakers of Sunwar in Sikkim in northeasten India.
Sunwar is also known as Sunuwar, Kõinch, Koinch or Koincha (कोँइच); Kõits Lo (कोँइच लो), Kiranti-Kõits (किराँती-कोँइच) or Mukhiya (मुखिया).
Sunwar is usually written with the Devanagari alphabet in Nepal. It is used in literature, newspapers and periodicals, although few Sunwar speakers can read their language. It is also used on the radio and in other media.
In Sikkim, Sunwar is sometimes written with the Sunuwar or Jenticha alphabet, which was invented in 1942. It is used in newspapers, academic works and other printed material.
Another script for Sunwar, known as Tikamuli, was invented in 2005, and is used to some extent in Nepal.
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Page last modified: 27.08.21
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