A descriptive grammar of Darma: An endangered Tibeto-Burman by Christina Marie Willis

By Christina Marie Willis

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Extra info for A descriptive grammar of Darma: An endangered Tibeto-Burman language

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All of the monolingual women I encountered had received no education and their families continued to make the annual migration to the Darma Valley. While some of the children that I visited in the villages near Dharchula spoke Darma fluently, many parents encourage their children to focus on learning English and Hindi. The perception is that Darma and the other Rang languages will not benefit the children when they reach adulthood and need to find employment. Many Rang people I met do not bring their children on migration because it would interrupt the school year.

The other Indo-Aryan language considered local to the region, Kumauni, has also been referred to by locals as Pahari. One consultant explained that Kumauni is really spoken in and around Almora. The Kumauni is the Pithoragarh area, which is a four-hour jeep ride from Dharchula, is considered quite different from the Almora variety, and the variety spoken in Dharchula is different from the Pithoragarh variety. This consultant said that the Kumauni in 15 The status of Scheduled Tribe is discussed in a later section.

In the past, all Darma people made the annual migration. Today, the number of Darma who continue the annual migration to what is considered the motherland has decreased; the reopening of the border in 1992 has brought some back in to the trade business, but not many. Those who continue to make the annual migration to Darma Valley do not have steady employment. They rely on profits from their buckwheat crops, which fetch a high price on the plains, and from the rugs, blankets, sweaters, hats and shawls they make using wool from their own animals and that purchased from the government.

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