Language family: isolated language

Geographical use: Nepal

Information: Kusanda is a dying isolate language. In 2012, a 75-year old woman from Western Nepal, Gyani Maiya Sen is its last known speaker. There are some 100-160 people in the Kusanda tribe of whom some know a few words of the language, but nobody else speaks the language with any degree of fluency.

Kusandar is not related to any other language of the world although there have been attempts to link it to an established language family. Soms believe it is a part of the Tibeto-Burman family, but there are plenty of other theories.

That it is not related to any other language does not mean the language falls outside the realm of universal grammar. Like all other languages, it has consonants and vowels, nouns and verbs, larger linguistic forms and smaller ones. Some characteristics:

* Kusanda has three vowel phonemes: /e/, /a/, and /o/
* There is a nominative-accusative case system, like in Russian, Latin or Old-English. There is also a genitive and three locative cases (for 'for', 'from', and 'at, in'), as well as a commitative case ('together with')
* The language has tenses and marks these with suffixes on the verb; negation is also marked with as suffix.
* Its word order is the most common one for all languages: subject - object - verb (SOV). It uses postpositions rather than prepositions.

So even though it is an isolated language, it is not unlike many other languages.