Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Kiranti languages form a sub-group of the Tibeto-Burman language family, which is itself a branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages. The Kiranti family comprises thirty to forty languages spoken in the eastern Himalayas, principally in Nepal, but also, and to a lesser extent, in Bhutan and the extreme north of India.
The Kiranti languages are not widely spoken, and consequently, they are sparsely documented, having become the subject of serious research only in the 1980's. Most speakers are bilingual in Nepali, with many of the younger generation speaking it preferentially.
With approximately 250,000 speakers, Limbu is the most widely-spoken member of the Kiranti languages, accounting for over half of the family's estimated 400,000 speakers.
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