Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Language Contact


English Language & Literature


When minority languages with similar typological profiles are in long-term contact with a genealogically unrelated socioeconomically dominant language, the perfect context is provided for investigating which observed contact effects are demonstrably allied to sociolinguistic dynamics rather than purely structural ones. This paper investigates the factors determining the different extent of contact effects in four Tibeto-Burman languages (Gurung, Gyalsumdo, Nar-Phu, and Manange) spoken in a geo-politically defined and multilingual region of Nepal. Using corpus data and sociolinguistic interviews collected in the field, we demonstrate that a range of social, economic and geo-spatial factors contribute to asymmetries where contact effects are observed in the four speech communities. These notably include factors specifically relevant in mountain-based communities, including proximity to transport and trekking routes, outward migration effects on small settlements, and the primary economies of the different parts of the Manang District.