Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Nepal

20,188,000 (1995). 2,423,840 speakers of Tibeto-Burman languages (1991 J. Matisoff). Kingdom of Nepal, Sri Nepala Sarkar. Literacy rate 20% to 29%. Information mainly from W. Winter 1991, SIL 1977, Hale 1982, Dor Bahadur Bista 1972. Data accuracy estimate: A2, B. Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian. Blind population 100,000. Deaf institutions: 3. The number of languages listed for Nepal is 125. Of those, 124 are living languages and 1 is extinct.

ATHPARIYA (ATHAPRE, ATHPARE) [APH] 2,000 (1995 Karen Ebert); 232,264 all Rai languages (1971 census). North of the Tamur, between the Dhankutakhola in the west and the Tangkhuwa in the east; Dhankuta and Bhirgaon panchayats. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern. Different from the Arthare dialect of Dungmali, and from Belhariya, which is also called Athpariya (W. Winter 1991). Used by all, including children and educated speakers. Low bilingualism in Nepali. Reported to be closest to Limbu, but not inherently intelligible with it. The term 'Kiranti' covers about 21 dialects, of which fewer than half are even partially intelligible. Rai and Kiranti are partially overlapping terms and subject to many interpretations (Austin Hale SIL 1977, personal communication). Survey needed.

AWADHI (ABADI, ABOHI, AMBODHI, AVADHI, BAISWARI, KOJALI, KOSALI) [AWD] 540,000 in Nepal (1993 Johnstone); 20,000,000 in India (1951 census); 20,540,000 in all countries. Lumbini Zone, Kapilbastu District, Majhkhanda, Khajahani. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, East Central zone. Dialects: GANGAPARI, MIRZAPURI, PARDESI, THARU, UTTARI. 50% to 75% literate. Bible portions 1820-1911. Work in progress.

BAGHELI (BAGELKHANDI, BHUGELKHUD, MANNADI, RIWAI, GANGGAI, MANDAL, KEWOT, KEWAT, KAWATHI, KENAT, KEVAT BOLI, KEVATI, KEWANI, KEWATI, NAGPURI MARATHI) [BFY] (880,000 in India; 1993 BSI). Morang District, Koshi Zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, East Central zone. Dialects: MARARI, OJHI, POWARI, BANAPARI, GAHORE, TIRHARI, GODWANI (MANDLAHA), SONPARI. Trade language. Braille code available. NT 1821, out of print.

BAHING (RUMDALI, BAINGE RAI, BAING, BAYING, BAYUNG, BAHING LO, BAYUNG LO) [RAR] 7,000 to 10,000 (1991 W. Winter). Sagarmatha Zone, Okhaldunga District, south of the Solu River in the Nachedanda ranges, east of the Melung River to the Thatan River and its tributaries in the west. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Western. Dialects: NAMBER SACHA, ROKHUNG, KHALING, BANENGE, DOBO LO, PROCA LO. The Khaling dialect is distinct from the Khaling language. More homogenous than most Kiranti languages. Related to Sunwar. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Survey needed.

BANTAWA (BANTAWA RAI, BANTABA, BONTAWA, BANTAWA YÜNG, BANTAWA YONG, BANTAWA DUM) [BAP] 35,000 or more (1985 N.K. Rai); 50,000 to 70,000 including second language users (1991 W. Winter). Bhojpur District, Koshi Zone, and western Dhankuta District, Khotang District. Amchoke is in Limbuwan, especially in Ilam District. Many villages. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Southern. Dialects: NORTHERN BANTAWA (DILPALI), SOUTHERN BANTAWA (HANGKHIM), EASTERN BANTAWA (DHANKUTA), WESTERN BANTAWA, CHHINTANG, DUNGMALI (DUNMALI), WALING (WALUNG, WALÜNG), RUNGCHENBUNG, AMCHOKE (AMCHAUKE), YANGMA. Dozens of dialects reported to be inherently intelligible with each other. Sorung and Saharaja are Amchoke subdialects. Some varieties are used as the traditional lingua franca among Rai minorities in Limbuwan, Sikkim India, and Bhutan, and as first language among Rai of other origin. In some regions the young people tend to prefer Nepali. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Traditional religion.

BARAAMU (BARHAMU, BRAHMU, BHRAMU) [BRD] 300 to 400 (1991). North Gorkha District, Gandaki Zone, Takhu village up the Doraundi Khola on the east side above Chorgate, near Kumhali, about 7 villages. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Himalayish, Eastern. Speakers use Nepali as second language. Baraamu may be going out of use. Related to Thami (Grierson-Konow). Survey needed.

BARAGAUNLE (BARAGAUN, BARAGAON) [BON] 1,600 to 2,200 or more, including 650 in Kagbeni, 530 to 1,140 in Jharkot, 400 in Purang (1990). Dhawalagiri Zone, Mustang District, northern, all villages north of Jomosom, in the valley and on the hillsides up to Kagbeni, and east to Muktinath; 18 villages. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. Dialects: JHARKOT, KAGBENI. Apparently in the Tibetan rather than the Gurung subgroup. 78% lexical similarity with Lopa; 70% with Dolpo; 69% with Lhomi; 66% with Olangchung Gola; 65% with Kyerung; 64% with Helambu Sherpa; 63% with Kutang Bhotia; 60% with Lhasa Tibetan; 59% with Jirel; 58% with Sherpa. Less than 20% lexical similarity with Manangba and Thakali, the closest Gurung languages. Some intelligibility with Lopa, but virtually none with Thakali. The two dialects have 85% lexical similarity. There are schools in Kagbeni and Purang. Buddhist. Survey needed.

BELHARIYA (ATHPARIYA) [BYW] 500 (1995 Karen Ebert). Belhara village, Dhankuta District, west of Dhankuta Bajar. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern. Different from Athpariya, although also called that, and closely related to it (W. Winter 1991). Used by at least part of the younger generation. Higher bilingualism in Nepali than the Athpariya have. Appears to be between Athpariya, Yakkha, and Chhilling linguistically. Survey needed.

BHOJPURI (BHOJAPURI, BHOZPURI, BAJPURI) [BHJ] 1,370,000 in Nepal (1993 Johnstone), 8% of population (1985); 23,375,000 in India (1994); 25,000,000 in all countries. Birgunj area, just across Indian border from Raxaul. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari. Dialects: BHOJPURI THARU, TELI. The extent of dialect variation among speakers in India and Nepal has not been determined. Bhojpuri Tharu is a dialect of Bhojpuri spoken by the Tharu caste in Nepal. It is distinct from Chitwan and other Tharu. Bilingualism in Hindi and Maithili. 50% to 75% literate. Hindu, Muslim, Christian. Bible portions 1911-1982. Work in progress.

BODO (BORO, BODI, BARA, BORONI, MECHE, MECHI, MECI, MECH, MACHE) [BRX] 938 in Nepal (1961 census); 428,000 to 600,000 in India (1991); 1,000,000 in all countries (1989 USCWM). Mechi Zone, Jhapa District. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo. Bible 1981. NT 1938-1991. Bible portions 1906-1961.

BOTE-MAJHI (KUSHAR) [BMJ] 6,000. Mainly Chitawan District, Narayani Zone, near Kumhali. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified. Boatmen along various rivers, fishermen. Survey needed.

BYANGSI [BEE] 2,000. Mahakali Zone, Dharchula District, far western. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Himalayish, Almora. Related to Rangkas, Darmiya, Chaudangsi. Survey needed.

CAMLING (CHAMLING, CHAMLINGE RAI) [RAB] 10,000 or fewer (1995 Karen Ebert). Rawa Valley, Khotang District, Sagarmatha Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Southern. Many ethnic subgroups, but linguistically homogeneous. Closest to Bantawa and Puma linguistically. Many ethnic Camling are not fluent in Camling. Learned by children only in a remote area of Udaypur. Many people speak a variety mixed with Nepali. 'Rodong' means 'Kiranti', not 'Camling'. Some Bantawa call their language 'Camling'. Survey needed.

CHANTEL (CHENTEL MAGAR) [CHX] 3,000 to 5,000 (1985). Myagdi District, Dhawalagiri Zone, Kali Gandaki River valley. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish. Call themselves Magar, but they are closer to Kham or Thakali. Survey needed.

CHAUDANGSI (TSAUDANGSI) [CDN] 1,500 in all countries (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Mahakali Zone, far western. Also in India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Himalayish, Almora. Related to Rangkas, Darmiya, Byangsi. May only be in India. Survey needed.

CHEPANG (TSEPANG) [CDM] 18,000 to 27,000 (1991). Inner Terai; Narayani Zone, Makwanpur, Chitwan, South Gorkha, and South Dhading districts. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Marginal Western. Dialects: EASTERN CHEPANG, WESTERN CHEPANG. The 2 dialects are close; 98% lexical similarity. 5% to 15% literate. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Hindu overlay. NT 1993. Bible portions 1977.

CHHATHAR (CHHATHAR LIMBU, CHHATTHARE LIMBU, CHATTHARE, CHATTHARE YAKTHUNGBA PAN) [CTH] Koshi Zone, Dhankuta District, far eastern. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Eastern. Related to Limbu. Survey needed.

CHHINTANG (CHHINTANGE, TELI, CHINTANG RÛNG) [CTN] 100 or fewer (1991 W. Winter). Lower Arun region, Dhankuta District, Chhintang panchayat, Sambhung and Pokhare, and Ankhisalla panchayat, Dandagaon. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern, Chilling. Speakers are mainly older; the ethnic group has largely shifted to Bantawa or Nepali. Nearly extinct.

CHHULUNG (CHULUNG, CHÜLÜNG, CHHÛLÛNG RÛNG, CHHOLUNG, CHHILLING) [CUR] 1,000 or fewer (1991 W. Winter). Ankhisalla Panchayat, Dhankuta District, end of Chhintang Panchayat. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern, Chilling. Speakers know a moderate amount of Nepali. Survey needed.

CHOURASE (TSAURASYA, CHAURASIA, CHAURASYA, CHOURASIA, UMBULE, AMBULE, OMBULE) [TSU] 5,000 or more (1991 W. Winter). Udayapur and Okhaldhunga districts. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Southern. Dialects: BONU, UBU. All dialects appear to have adequate inherent intelligiblity with each other. Some bilingualism in Bahing resulting from intermarriage. Strong language retention. Speakers are of all ages. Closest to Jerung. Survey needed.

CHUKWA (CUKWA RING, POHING, POHING KHA) [CUW] 100 or fewer (1991 W. Winter). Kulung Panchayat, Bhojpur District. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Northern. Linguistically between Kulung-Nachering-Sangpang and Meohang-Saam. Nearly extinct.

DARAI [DRY] 3,000 (1973 SIL). Inner Terai, Narayani Zone, Chitawan District. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified. Typological affinities with Northwestern zone, Dardic group. Selections 1976. Work in progress.

DARMIYA (DARIMIYA) [DRD] 1,750 in all countries (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Mahakali zone, far western. Also in India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Himalayish, Almora. Related to Rangkas, Chaudangsi, Byangsi. May only be in India. Survey needed.

DHANWAR (DHANVAR, DANUWAR RAI, DANUWAR, DENWAR) [DHW] 16,000 (1993 Johnstone). Eastern hills and plain, inner Terai and Terai south of Kathmandu, Sindhuli Garhi, Makwanpur District, Narayani Zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified. Danuwar Done in Makwanpur and India and Danuwar Kachariya in Rautahat and elsewhere are probably distinct languages from Danuwar Rai. Typological affinities with Northwestern zone, Dardic group. Selections 1976.

DHIMAL [DHI] 8,188 (1961 UN report). Mechi Zone, Jhapa District, Biratnagar, eastern Terai. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Dhimal. Dialect: TOTO. Some are partially bilingual in Nepali or Hindi. Toto may be a separate language.

DOLPO (PHOKE DOLPA, DOLPA TIBETAN) [DRE] 5,000 (1985). Dolpa, northern, Karnali Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. 78% lexical similarity with Lopa; 70% with Baragaunle; 69% with Lhomi; 68% with Lhasa Tibetan, Olungchung Gola, and Kyerung; 67% with Kutang Bhotia; 66% with Helambu Sherpa; 62% with Jirel and Sherpa. Definitely a distinct language. Reported to be close to Tichurong. Speakers call themselves and their language 'Dolpo'. Mountains. Traders. Survey needed.

DUMI (DUMI BO'O, DUMI BRO, RO'DO BO', LSI RAI, SOTMALI) [DUS] 1,000 to 2,000 (1991 W. Winter). Northern Khotang District, hills near the middle of the Rawakhola Valley. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Marginal Northern. Dialects: BRASMI, KHARBARI, LAMDIJA, MAKPA. Closest to Khaling and Koi. Spoken mainly by older people. Survey needed.

DUNGMALI (DUNGMALI PÛK, DUNGMALI-BANTAWA, ARTHARE, ARTHARE-KHESANG) [RAA] 3,000 to 5,000 (1991 W. Winter); 232,264 all Rai groups (1971 census). East of central Bhojpur District, northeast of the Singtang lekh, bend of the Arun River between its confluence with the Piukhuwa and the first conluence with the Piluwa River. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Marginal. Dialect: KHESANG (KHESANGE). Local names which may not be dialects: Chhinamkhang, Hangbang, Khandung, Pungwai, Roktulung, Tuncha, Waitpang. The term 'Kiranti' covers about 21 dialects, of which fewer than half are even partially intelligible. 'Rai' and 'Kiranti' are partially overlapping terms and subject to many interpretations (Austin Hale SIL 1977, personal communication). Survey needed.

DZONGKHA (DRUKKE, DRUKHA, BHUTANESE, JONKHA, LHOKE, LHOSKAD, HLOKA, LHOKA, DUKPA, BHOTIA OF BHUTAN, BHOTIA OF DUKPA, ZONGKHAR, ZONKAR) [DZO] 5,100 to 8,500 in all countries (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Some in Kathmandu. Also in Bhutan. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Southern. 'Lhoke' means 'southern language'. Traders, shopkeepers. Bible portions 1970. Work in progress.

GHALE, KUTANG (BHOTTE) [GHT] 1,300 (1992). Gandaki Zone, Northern Gorkha District, from Nyak, up to and including Prok; villages of Bihi, Krak, Chak, Kwak, Rana, Deng, and a few others. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Dialects: BIHI, CHAK, RANA. Dialects have 62% to 76% lexical similarity with each other. Rana is the most diverse. 39% to 49% lexical similarity with Southern Ghale, 45% to 61% with Northern Ghale, 18% with Banspur Gurung, 16% to 23% with Tamang varieties, 13% to 31% with Nubri, 23% to 27% with Tsum, 22% to 27% with Kyerung, 19% to 24% with Tibetan. Speakers in Bihi village have minimal bilingual proficiency in Tibetan and Nepali. They call their language 'thieves language' because they think of it as a mixture of nearby languages. No schools beyond primary level. 5% literacy. Some Tibetan religious books have been translated into Kutang Ghale by priests who speak the language. Tibetan script is used for those. Gallery forest. Mountain slope. Swidden and peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 2,000 tto 4,100 meters. Lamaist Buddhist.

GHALE, NORTHERN [GHH] 2,500 (1991). Gandaki Zone, Gorkha District, central hills from Laprak north, south of the Macha Khola. Uiya and Philim are centers. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Dialects: KHORLA, UIYA, JAGAT, PHILIM, NYAK. Dialects have 73% to 89% lexical similarity with each other. Nyak is the most diverse. Philim people have 94% intelligibility of Uiya. 65% to 81% lexical similarity with Southern Ghale, 45% to 61% with Kutang Ghale, 29% to 37% with Western Tamang, 21% to 27% with Nubri, 22% to 25% with Tsum, 19% to 23% with Kyerung, 19% to 21% with Tibetan. Speakers have 75% to 79% intelligibility of Barpak in Southern Ghale. Speakers in Philim have no more than basic bilingual proficiency in Nepali. Gallery forest. Mountain slope, valley. Swidden and peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 2,000 to 4,100 meters. Survey needed.

GHALE, SOUTHERN (GALLE GURUNG) [GHE] 12,000 (1975 Nishi). Western hills, Gandaki Zone, Gorkha District, Buri Gandaki Valley, central hills south of Laprak. Barpak is the most prestigious center. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Dialects: BARPAK, KYAURA, LAPRAK. 75% to 78% lexical similarity among dialects. 65% to 81% lexical similarity with Northern Ghale, 39% to 49% with Kutang Ghale, 27% to 30% with Banspur Gurung, 31% with Western Tamang, 20% with Nubri and Tsum, 18% with Tibetan. Glover (1974:8-12) has a Ghale branch under Bodish intermediate between the Tibetan and Gurung branches. 5% to 15% literate. Gallery forest. Mountain slope, valley. Swidden and peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 600 to 1,800 meters. Hindu, Buddhist. Work in progress.

GHARTI (BUJHEL, BUJAL, WESTERN CHEPANG) [GOR] 2,000 to 3,000 (1991). Tanahun, south side of Chimkesori Peak, behind Yangchok, near the Magar. Separated from the Chepang by the Trisuli (Narayani) River. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Marginal Western. The language is called 'Bujhel'. Distinct from slave Gharti. 98% lexical similarity with Chepang. Pronominal affix differences hinder intelligibility. Similar culturally to Chepang. Mountain slope. Survey needed.

GURUNG (WESTERN GURUNG) [GVR] 90,000 in Nepal including 40,000 in Kaski, 50,000 in Syangja (1985); 82 in India (1961 census); 90,000 in all countries. Central strip of mountainous country, western Gurung area, Kaski and Syangja districts. Also in Bhutan, possibly in Myanmar. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Dialects: SOUTHERN GURUNG (SYANGJA GURUNG), WESTERN GURUNG (KASKI GURUNG). Southern Gurung may need separate literature. Official language Schools. Typology: SOV, adjectives precede nouns. NT 1982.

GURUNG, EASTERN (DADUWA, LANJUNG, LAMJUNG) [GGN] 60,000 or more in Lamjung (1985). 180,000 all Gurung languages in Nepal (1993 Johnstone). Eastern Gurung area, Lamjung, Gorkha districts. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Daduwa town seems central linguistically. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Traditional religion, Hindu. Work in progress.

HELAMBU SHERPA (YOLMU) [SCP] 5,000 to 15,000 (1985). Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok districts, Bagmati Zone, Nakote, Ratmate, Helambu, down to Kathmandu. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. 66% lexical similarity with Dolpo and Olangchung Gola; 65% with Lhasa Tibetan, Baragaunle, Jirel, and Kyerung; 63% with Lopa and Sherpa; 61% with Kutang Bhotia; 60% with Lhomi. Related to Kagate; Helambu Sherpa is more prestigious, has more of the original culture preserved. They go to India as laborers. Bilingualism in Nepali is limited. They use the Devanagari script. A few lamas know the Tibetan script. 15% to 25% literate. Typology: SOV. Buddhist, lamaist. SelectionsWork in progress.

HINDI [HND] 2,867 in Nepal (1961 census); 182,000,000 in all countries. Southern strip of low country. Also India, USA, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Singapore, New Zealand, Nauru, Uganda, Germany, Yemen. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Western Hindi, Hindustani. Language of wider communication. Hindu. Bible 1818-1987. NT 1811-1992. Bible portions 1806-1962.

HUMLA BHOTIA (DANGALI, PHOKE) [HUT] Bajura District, Seti Zone; Humla District, Karnali Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. Low literacy in Tibetan. Probably a separate language. Buddhist. Survey needed.

JANGGALI (JANGALI, JHANGAL, JHANGAR, DZANGGALI, RAWAT) [JNL] 9,140 in Nepal (1961 census), possibly only a few hundred in Nepal in 1991; 2,000 to 3,000 in India (1991); 11,000 to 12,000 in all countries or fewer. Mahakali Zone, Darchula District, far western, and 2 or 3 resettlement villages in the Nepal lowlands. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Himalayish, Janggali. Called 'Rawat' in India. Survey needed.

JERUNG (JERO, JERUM, JERUNGE, JERO MALA, ZERO, ZERUM, ZERO MALA) [JEE] 1,000 to 2,000 (1991 W. Winter). Around and above the mouth of the Melungkhola River. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Southern. Dialects: MADHAVPUR, BALKHU-SISNERI, RATNAWATI (SINDHULI). Linguistically closest to Chourase. Young people appear to not speak Jerung. Survey needed.

JIREL (ZIRAL, JIRI) [JUL] 5,000 (1985). Dolakha District, Janakpur Zone, Jiri and Sikri valleys, eastern hills. Jiri is the main village. Others include Chhyatrapa, Sikri, and Dhungya. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Southern. Some are partially bilingual in Nepali. 67% lexical similarity with Sherpa; 65% with Helambu Sherpa; 62% with Dolpo and Lopa; 60% with Baragaunle and Kyerung; 57% with Kutang Bhotia, Lhomi, and Olangchung Gola; 54% with Lhasa Tibetan. Some comprehension of Lhasa Tibetan. 15% to 25% literate. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Buddhist. NT 1992. Bible portions 1977.

KAGATE (SHUBA, SHYUBA, SYUBA, KAGATE BHOTE) [SYW] 800 to 1,000 (1985). Janakpur Zone, Ramechhap District. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. Typology: SOV. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Buddhist, lamaist. Bible portions 1977.

KAIKE (TARALI KHAM) [KZQ] Small. Dhawalagiri Zone, Dolpa District, Karnali Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Kaike. May be closer to Kham than to Gurung. Hunter-gatherers. Survey needed.

KAYORT [KYV] Koshi Zone, Morang District, Dakuwa Danga, near Rajbangsi language. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Separate language related to Bengali. Survey needed.

KHALING (KHALINGE RAI, KHÄL BRA, KHALING BAT) [KLR] 12,000 or more (1996). Solu Khumbu District, Sagarmatha Zone, eastern hills. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Marginal Northern. Dialects: BALURUS, ROMLO, PHULELI. Closest to Dumi and Koi. 5% to 15% literate. NT 1994. Bible portions 1973-1977.

KHAM, GAMALE [KGJ] 10,000 (1988). Gam Khola, western hills, Rukum and Rolpa districts, Rapti Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Kham. 71% lexical similarity with Takale Kham (closest), 55% with Nisi and Sheshi, 54% with Maikoti-Hukam, 45% with Bhujel. People have limited bilingualism in Nepali. Language use is vigorous. 5% to 15% literate.

KHAM, MAIKOTI [ZKM] 2,500 (1993). Western hills, Rukum and Rolpa districts, Rapti Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Kham. Different from Takale and other Kham. Below 5% literate.

KHAM, NISI (NISI, NISEL, NISHEL KHAM) [KIF] 3,000 (1988). Western hills, Rukum and Rolpa districts, Rapti Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Kham. Dialect: BHUJEL KHAM. 79% lexical similarity with Bhujel Kham (closest), 71% with Takale, 69% with Maikoti-Hukam, 55% with Gamale, 44% with Sheshi. Limited bilingualism in Nepali. Language use is vigorous. Inherent intelligibility of Bhujel need investigation. Below 5% literate.

KHAM, SHESHI [KIP] 7,500 (1988). Western hills, Rukum and Rolpa districts, Rapti Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Kham. 55% lexical similarity with Gamale Kham (closest), 51% with Takale, 46% with Bhujel, 45% with Maikoti-Hukam, 44% with Nisi. Limited bilingualism in Nepali. Language use is vigorous. Below 5% literate.

KHAM, TAKALE (KHAM-MAGAR, TAKALE, PARBATE) [KJL] 15,000 (1988); 40,000 in Kham group of languages. Rapti Zone, Rukum, Rolpa zones, western hills. Taka-Shera is the center. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Kham. Dialect: WALI. 71% lexical similarity with Gamale Kham, Maikoti-Hukam, Nisi; 58% with Bhujel Kham, 51% with Sheshi. About 25% lexical similarity with Magar and Gurung, slightly below 25% with the Tibetan group, 15% with the Rai and Limbu groups. Distinct from the Kham of eastern Tibet as spoken by the Khampa. People have limited bilingualism in Nepali. Kham is used in all domains. People migrate in summer to the foot of glaciers on the western end of the Dhaulagiri massif, and in winter to the southern hills of Rolpa District. Below 5% literate. Pastoralists: sheep, goats; subsistence agriculturalists. NT 1985.

KOI (KOYU, KOHI, KOYI, KOI BO'O, KOYU BO') [KKT] 200 to 300 (1991 W. Winter). Sagarmatha Zone, south Khotang District, Sungdel Panchayat near the headwaters of the Rawakhola. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Marginal Northern. Dialects: SUNGDEL, BEHERE. Closest to Dumi and Khaling. Some people called 'Koi' who live scattered in other language areas speak only Nepali. Survey needed.

KULUNG (KHULUNGE RAI, KULU RING, KHULUNG, KHOLUNG) [KLE] 15,000 (1991 W. Winter). Solukhumbu District, Sagarmatha Zone, eastern hills, Mahakulung region. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Northwestern. Dialects: SOTANG (SOTARING, SOTTARING), MAHAKULUNG, TAMACHHANG, PIDISOI, CHHAPKOA. Related to Sangpang and Nachereng. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion.

KUMAUNI (KUMAON) [KFY] (2,013,000 in India; 1994 IMA). Mahakali zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Kumauni. Bible portions 1825-1876.

KUMHALI [KRA] Nawalpur, Gorkha District, Gandaki Zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified. Some are partially bilingual in Nepali. Agriculturalists, pastoralists, fishermen. Hindu, traditional religion. Survey needed.

KURUX, NEPALI (DHANGAR, JHANGER, JANGHARD, JANGAD, URAON, ORAU, ORAON) [KXL] Eastern Terai, Janakpur Zone, Dhanusa District. Dravidian, Northern. The alternate names are used for the people. Distinct from Kurux of India and Bangladesh. Bible portions 1977.

KUSANDA (KUSUNDA) [KGG] Tanahun District, Gandaki Zone, western hills, Satto Bhatti west of Chepetar and possibly jungle south of Ambhu. Kireni, near Kumhali. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Kusanda. Last speaker died recently (1985). Extinct.

KYERUNG (KYIRONG, GYIRONG) [KGY] Rasuwa District, Bagmati Zone, Langtang region, Rasua Garbi, Birdim, Thangjet, Syabru, and Syabrubensi villages; and large concentrations in Kathmandu. Also in Tibet, China. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. 68% lexical similarity with Dolpo, Olungchung Gola, Lhomi, and Lopa; 66% with Baragaunle; 65% with Kutang Bhotia and Tibetan (Lhasa); 63% with Helambu Sherpa; 60% with Jirel; 57% with Sherpa. Survey needed.

LAMBICHHONG (LAMBICHONG, LAMBITSHONG) [LMH] 500 (1991 W. Winter). Eastern bank of the Arun River, in a strip between Mugakhola and Sinuwakhola; Muga and Pakhribas panchayats, Dhankuta District. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern. Ethnically related to the Bantawa. Sometimes incorrectly called 'Mugali' or 'Yakkha'. Survey needed.

LEPCHA (RONG, RONGKE, LAPCHE, RONGPA, NUNPA) [LEP] 1,272 in Nepal (1961 census); 36,436 in India (1994 IMA); 24,200 in Bhutan; 65,000 in all countries (1990 UBS). Ilam District, Mechi Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Lepcha. Dialects: ILAMMU, TAMSANGMU, RENGJONGMU. Many Lepcha of the younger generation in Nepal and India speak Nepali as their mother tongue. However, the language is still very much alive in Sikkim where it is used as the language of instruction for primary education in some schools. Linguistic position within Tibeto-Burman still uncertain. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Buddhist. NT 1989. Bible portions 1845-1989.

LHOMI (LHOKET, SHING SAAPA, KATH BHOTE, KAR BHOTE) [LHM] 4,000 in Nepal; 1,000 in India; 1,000 in China (1985); 6,000 in all countries. Eastern hills, Sankhuwasawa District, Koshi Zone, near the Arun River, about 6 villages, and a few in Kathmandu. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. The dialect may be different across the Tibet border. 69% lexical similarity with Baragaunle and Dolpo; 68% with Lopa; 66% with Olangchung Gola; 65% with Lhasa Tibetan and Kyerung; 64% with Kutang Bhotia; 60% with Helambu Sherpa; 58% with Sherpa; 57% with Jirel. Men are 5% to 25% literate. Typology: SOV. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Traditional religion, lamaist. NT 1995. Bible portions 1976.

LIMBU (YAKTHUNGBA PAN, YAKTHUNGPAN) [LIF] 254,088 in Nepal, including 16,000 Chhattare (1993 govt. report); 26,538 in India (1994 IMA); 280,626 in all countries. Eastern hills, east of the Arun River; Koshi Zone, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, and Tehrathum districts; Mechi Zone, Taplejung, Panchthar, and Ilam. Also in Bhutan. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Eastern. Dialects: TAPLEJUNGE (TAMORKHOLEA, TAPLEJUNG), PANTHARE (PANTHAREY, PANCHTHARE, PANCHTHAR, PANTHARE-YANGGROKKE), PHEDAPPE, CHHATTARE, CHAUBISE. One of the main groups in eastern Nepal. Related to Lohorong and Yakha. Lexical similarity among the dialects is from 60% to 91%. Chaubise dialect is similar to Panthare, and Phedappe to Taplejunge. Chattare is poorly understood by speakers of the other dialects, but Chattare speakers tend to be bilingual in Panthare or Phedappe. Inherent intelligibility among the dialect speakers is 80% to 90%. 28% of adult speakers (24% of men and 3% of women) have completed 5 years of school, and have good general proficiency in Nepali. 62% of the Limbu have no more than basic proficiency. Abut 40% literate. The Limbu have their own script, dating to the early 18th century. Common Limbu is called 'Tajengpan'. The priestly high language, also known by some older people, is called 'Mundumban'. Grammars, dictionary. Mountain slope. Agriculturalists: maize, millet, rice; animal husbandry: pigs. Altitude: 2,500 to 5,000 feet. Traditional religion. Work in progress.

LINGKHIM (LIMKHIM, LINKHIM, LINGKHIM RAI) [LII] 1 (1991 W. Winter). Ilam District, Sumbek Panchayat Yokpi. Original homeland was apparently near the lower Dudhkosi River. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Eastern. Little information available. Nearly extinct.

LOPA (LOYU, LOBA, MUSTANG, LO MONTANG) [LOY] 20,000 (1985). Dhawalagiri Zone, Dolpa, Mustang districts, north central. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. Dialects: LO, SEKE. Lo dialect has 78% lexical similarity with Baragaunle and Dolpo; 68% with Olungchung Gola, Kyerung, and Lhomi; 65% with Lhasa Tibetan and Kutang Bhotia; 63% with Helambu Sherpa; 62% with Jirel and Sherpa. The inhabitants of Lo are called 'Lopa'. Their capital is Manthang, called Mustang by outsiders. Manthang has 200 houses, many gombas, and a Nepali medium school up to grade ten. Distinct from Lhoba in China and India, a Mirish language. Salt traders, agriculturalists, pastoralists. Buddhist. Survey needed.

LORUNG, NORTHERN (LOHORONG, LOHRUNG, LOHRUNG KHANAWA) [LBR] 7,000 to 10,000 (1991 W. Winter). Between the middle Arun Valley and the Sabhakhola, middle Sankhuwasawa District, Koshi Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Northwestern. Dialect: BIKSIT (BIKSHI). A Rai group. Related to Yamphu, Yamphe, Southern Lorung, and Yakkha, but a separate language. Ethnic subgroups are Kipa and Loke Lorung, but they do not appear to speak different dialects. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Hindu, traditional religion. Survey needed.

LORUNG, SOUTHERN (LOHORONG, LOHRUNG, LOHRUNG KHAP, LOHRUNG KHATE, YAKKHABA LORUNG) [LRR] 3,000 to 5,000 (1991 W. Winter). Dhankuta District, in a small strip south of the Tamorkhola, between the Jaruwakhola in the east and the Raghuwkhola in the west, Bodhe, Maunabuduke, and Rajarani panchayats. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Northwestern. Dialect: GESS. A Rai group. Related to Yamphu, Yamphe, Northern Lorung, and Yakkha, but a separate language. Sometimes incorrectly called 'Yakkha'. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Hindu, traditional religion. Survey needed.

LUMBA-YAKKHA (YAKKHABA CEA) [LUU] 1,000 (1991 W. Winter). North Dhankuta District, Arkhaule Jitpur and Marek Katahare panchayats, around Lakhshmikhola. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern. Related to Yakkha, Chhulung, Chhintang, and Lambichhong, but a separate language. Survey needed.

MAGAR, EASTERN (MAGARI, MANGGAR) [MGP] 288,383 in Nepal (1994); 1,136 in India outside of Sikkim (1961 census); 290,000 in all countries. Central mountains, east of Bagmati River, Tanahu District, Gandaki Zone. Also in Bhutan. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Magar. One of the main groups in the central mountains. Nepali bilingualism in the Nawalparasi Hills is quite low; among the 70% to 80% who are uneducated, there is only a basic proficiency. Magar is the language of daily life. 25% to 50% literate. Levels of bilingualism are Less:than 30% have Lebel 2+ in Nepalï. Mountain slope. Agriculturalists: rice, corn, wheat; hunters. Traditional religion. NT 1991. Bible portions 1977-1984.

MAGAR, WESTERN [MRD] 210,000 (1994). West of Pokhara, Tansen highway, Surkhet, Banke, and Dialekh districts, Bheri Zone; Pokhara and Syangja districts, Morang and Dhankuta districts, Koshi Zone, Nawalparasi District, Lumbini Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Magar. Partially bilingual in Nepali. 5% to 15% literate. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Hindu.

MAITHILI (MAITLI, TIRAHUTIA, MAITILI) [MKP] 2,260,000 (1993 Johnstone), 11% of the population in Nepal (1985); 22,000,000 in India (1981); 24,260,000 in all countries. Dhanusa District, Janakpur Zone, eastern Terai. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari. Dialects: BANTAR, BAREI, BARMELI, KAWAR, KISAN, KYABRAT, MAKRANA, MUSAR, SADRI, TATI. Spoken by Brahmans and other high caste or educated Hindus. 25% to 50% literate. Hindu, Muslim. Bible portions 1983-1992. Work in progress.

MAITHILI, DEHATI (DEHATI, DAHATI, DESHIYA, DESHIA) [MTR] Some districts of south Nepal bordering Bihar, and in Bihar, India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari. Dialect: NUNIYA. Significantly different from Standard Maithili. Hindu; some groups are Muslim. Work in progress.

MAJHI (MANJHI) [MJZ] 5,895 in Nepal (1961 census). Eastern hills, Dolakha District, Janakpur Zone. Also in India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari. Distinct from Majhi in Panjabi group or Bote-Majhi. Work in progress.

MANANGBA (MANANG, MANANGI, NORTHERN GURUNG) [NMM] 4,000 (1977 J. Landon). Manang District, Gandaki Zone, northern. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Manangba may be distinct from Northern Gurung, which is spoken in Manang District. Very different from Eastern Gurung. Traders. Survey needed.

MEOHANG, EASTERN (NEWANG, NEWAHANG, NEWANGE RAI, NEWAHANG JIMI, MEWAHANG) [EMG] Sankhuwasawa District, Koshi Zone, upper Arun Valley east of the river, eastern Nepal. One dialect is in Sunsari District, Bhaludhunga, Bishnupaduka Panchayat; Dibum (Dibung) in Mangtewa Panchayat, Mulgaon-Wangtang in Yaphu Panchayat. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Northeastern. Dialects: SUNSARI, DIBUM, MULGAON-WANGTANG. Structurally different from Eastern Meohang. May be extinct or nearly extinct linguistically, being replaced by Nepali. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Survey needed.

MEOHANG, WESTERN (NEWANG, NEWAHANG, NEWANGE RAI, NEWAHANG JIMI, MEWAHANG) [RAF] 2,000 to 5,000 (1991 W. Winter). Sankhuwasawa District, Koshi Zone, upper Arun Valley west of the river, eastern Nepal. Bala is in Bala village, Sankhuwasawa Panchayat; Bumdemba in Sishuwakhola Panchayat. 2 villages. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Northeastern. Dialects: BALA (BALALI), BUMDEMBA. Structurally different from Eastern Meohang. Many speakers use Kulung as a second language. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Survey needed.

MUGU (MUGALI) [MUK] 3,500 (1996). Mugu District, Karnali Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. Dialect: MUGALI KHAM. 90% intelligibility with Mugali Kham. Close to Humla Bhotia. Not closely related to Takale, Nisi, Maikoti, Sheshi, or Gamale Kham. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Buddhist. Survey needed.

MUNDARI (HORO, MUNDA, MANDARI, MONDARI, MUNARI, COLH) [MUW] 5,700 in Nepal (1993 Johnstone); 1,467,515 in India (1994 IMA); 1,473,000 or more in all countries. Also in Bangladesh. Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari. Dialects: HASADA, LATAR, NAGURI, KERA. Bible 1910-1932. NT 1895, in press (1996). Bible portions 1876-1965.

MUSASA (MUSAHAR) [SMM] Sindhuli Garhi District, Morang District, Koshi Zone, Dolakha District, Janakpur Zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari. Survey needed.

NAAPA (NAWA SHERPA, NABA, NAAPAA) [NAO] 500 (1985). Sankhuwasawa District, Koshi Zone. Their own villages are interspersed among the Lhomi. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. Some bilingualism between Naapa and Lhomi; little intermarriage. The Lhomi consider the Naaket people a distinct group. Survey needed.

NACHERING (NACERING RA, NACHERING TÛM, MATHSERENG, NACCHHERING, NASRING, BANGDALE, BANGDEL TÛM, BANGDILE) [NCD] 2,000 (1991 W. Winter). Upper northeastern Khotang District near the Rawakhola Valley, on the slopes around the Lidim Khola River from the headwaters and its tributaries down to Aiselukharke to the south. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Northwestern. Dialects: DIMALI, PARALI, HEDANGPA (SANGPANG), BANGDALE (HACHERO, ACHERO, HANGKULA), KHARLALI, RAKHELI. The Hedangpa dialect is nearly extinct. It is not the same as the Sangpang language, although it is sometimes called 'Sangpang'. Related to Kulung and Sangpang. Survey needed.

NAR PHU [NPA] Gandaki Zone, Manang District, Nar Valley north of Manang Valley, Nar (Nargaon) and Phu (Phugaon) villages. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Unclassified. There are conflicting reports of it being in the Tibetan or Gurung subgroups. Survey needed.

NEPALESE SIGN LANGUAGE [NSP] Deaf sign language. Used by USA Peace Corps. Developed from local signs and introduced signs.

NEPALI (NEPALESE, GORKHALI, GURKHALI, KHASKURA, PARBATIYA, EASTERN PAHARI) [NEP] 9,900,000 in Nepal (1993 Johnstone), 58.3% of the population (1985); 6,000,000 in India (1984 Far Eastern Economic Review); 300,000 in Bhutan (1973 Dorji); 16,200,000 in all countries. Eastern region and adjacent south central region. Also in Brunei. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Eastern Pahari. Dialects: BAITADI, BAJHANGI, BAJURALI (BAJURA), DOTELI, SORADI, ACCHAMI, JUMLELI (JUMLA, SINGJA, SIJALI), DARJULA. Dialects listed may be quite distinct from Standard Nepali. 4 castes: Brahmin (highest or priestly), Chetri (warrior), Vaishya (trader and farmer), Shudra (untouchable or lowest). People are called 'Paharia'. National language. Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim. Braille Bible portions. Bible 1914-1978. NT 1821-1984. Bible portions 1850-1961.

NEWARI [NEW] 775,000 (1993 Johnstone), 3% of the population (1985). Kathmandu Valley and scattered (mainly urban or trading center) locations in midlands. Some in Bettiah, Bihar, India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Newari. Dialects: DOLKHALI (DOLAKHA), SINDHUPALCHOK PAHRI (PAHRI, PAHARI), TOTALI, KATHMANDU, KIRTIPUR, BAKTAPUR. Dolkhali of Dolakha and Pahri of Sindhupalchok may be separate languages. Dolakha, Totali, and Pahari are conservative linguistically. Dolakha and Totali are reserved toward outsiders. Kathmandu is the prestige dialect. Kirtipur is close to Kathmandu. Baktapur can mostly understand Kathmandu. Jyapu is a farming caste. Language loss is greater among Hindus than among Buddhists. Devanagari script. 15% to 25% literate. Dictionaries. Grammars. Typology: SOV, postpositions; genitives, adjectives, and demonstratives before noun heads, ergative, V, CV, CVC, non-tonal. Agriculturalists. Buddhist (mainly Patan), Hindu (mainly Bhaktapur). NT 1986. Bible portions 1964-1977.

NUBRI (KUTANG BHOTIA, LARKYE) [KTE] 3,200 (1992). North Gorkha District, Gandaki Zone, along the upper reaches of the Buri Gandaki River, west of and including Prok, between Himal Chuli and Manaslu Himal on the west and Ganesh Himal on the east. Sama is the center. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. Dialects: SAMA, LHO, NAMRUNG, PROK. 78% to 93% lexical similarity among dialects. Prok is more distinct. 71% to 78% with Tsum, 66% to 74% with Kyerung; 67% with Dolpo; 65% with Lopa, 59% to 64% with Lhasa Tibetan; 64% with Olangchung Gola and Lhomi; 63% with Baragaunle; 61% with Helambu Sherpa; 57% with Jirel; 55% with Sherpa, 21% to 27% with Northern Ghale, 20% to 23% with Southern Ghale, 14% to 31% with Kutang Ghale, 14% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang, Western Gurung, and Banspur Tamang. 74% intelligibility off Keyrung Tibetan and 32% of Tsum. Speakers have minimal bilingualism in Nepali and Tibetan. Women from Prok marry men from Nubri area primarily and some from Kutang area. People trade with Gorkha District and Tibet. Most villages have primary schools. Literacy less than 10%. "Bhotia" or "Bhote" refers to people of Tibetan origin; in at least some contexts it is derogatory. Gallery fforest. Mountain slope, valley. Swidden and peasant agricultturalists. Altitude: 2,000 to 4,000 meters. Lamaist Buddhist.

OLANGCHUNG GOLA (WALUNGCHUNG GOLA, WALUNG) [OLA] 10,000 to 15,000, including 3,500 in the original area; 30 to 35 families in Kathmandu, 200 families in Taplejung, 100 families in Dankute, 300 in Darjeeling, India (1990). Sankhuwasawa District, Koshi Zone, 5 main villages: Walungchung, Yangma, Gunsa, Lilip, and Lungtung, and 6 or 7 smaller villages. Speakers also in Lungthung, Amjilesa, and Kambachen. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. 71% lexical similarity with Lhasa Tibetan; 68% with Dolpo, Lopa, and Kyerung; 66% with Lhomi, Helambu Sherpa, and Baragaunle; 64% with Kutang Bhotia; 57% with Jirel; 55% with Sherpa. In all areas except Kathmandu there is a strong sense of cultural identity revolving around their religion and language. Young people in Kathmandu are losing the language. Each of the main villages has a school. Isolated from the Lhomi, more links to Tibet. Some intermarriage with Lhomi and Tibetan speakers. Animal husbandry, traders. Survey needed.

PALPA (PAHARI-PALPA) [PLP] 3,002 (1961 census). Western, town of Palpa. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Unclassified. There is also a dialect of Newari called Pahari. The term literally means 'of the hills'. This language stands midway between Nepali (Eastern Pahari) and Kumauni (Central Pahari). Sometimes considered a Kumauni or Nepali dialect. NT 1827, out of print.

PANCHGAUNLE [PNL] Mustang District, Dhawalagiri Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. May be a dialect of Thakali and related to Baragaunle. Survey needed.

PHANGDUWALI (PHANGDUWALI POTI) [PHW] Phangduwa village, Pakhribas Panchayat, Chankuta District, directly above the headwaters of the Mugakhola (W. Winter 1991:79). Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern. Linguistically between Yakkha and Belhariya. Survey needed.

PONGYONG (PONYON KULUNG, SAMAKULUNG, KULUNG PUN) [PGY] Ilam District, Kannyam Panchayat, Ambikau. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Western. Closest to Kulung and Sangpang. Nearly extinct.

PUMA (PUMA PIMA, PUMA LA, PUMA KALA) [PUM] 3,000 (1991 W. Winter). Northwestern slopes of the Rapcha Range from the highest peaks to the Shwahkola Valley, directly south of the Khotang Bajar. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Southern. Still spoken by most young people. Survey needed.

RAJBANGSI (RAJBANSI, TAJPURI) [RJB] 94,000 in Nepal (1993 Johnstone). Jhapa and Koshi zones, Morang District. Also in Bangladesh and India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Dialect: KURTHA. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Hindu.

RAJI [RJI] 1,514 (1954). Banke-Kailali, Bheri Zone, Surkhet and Bardia districts, Seti Zone, Kailaki District. Possibly also in India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Magar. Hunter-gatherers, agriculturalists, fishermen, boatmen. Survey needed.

RANGKAS [RGK] 600 in all countries (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Mahakali Zone, far western. Also India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Himalayish, Almora. Related to Darmiya, Chaudangsi, Byangsi. It may only be in India. Survey needed.

RAUTE [RAU] 200 (1985). Achham District, Seti Zone; Surkhet District, Bheri Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Unclassified. Nomadic. A separate language. Survey needed.

SAAM (SAAM RAI, SAMAKHA, SAAMA KHA) [RAQ] Southern Ilam District. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Northeastern. Dialects: BUNGLA, SAMBYA. Appears to be in process of replacement by Nepali or Bantawa. A few elderly speakers. Other groups called 'Saam' may be Kulung, Limkhim, or Pongyong speakers. Nearly extinct.

SANGPANG (SAMPANG, SAMPANGE RAI, SANGPANG KHA, SANGPANG GUN, SANGPANG GÎN) [RAV] 5,000 to 7,000 (1991 W. Winter). From Dingla, Bhojpur District in the northeast to Kharpa in the southwest. The upper ridges south and east of the Rawakhola Valley and adjoining ridges in the northeast where the headwaters of the main tributaries of the lower and middle Arun River. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Northwestern. Dialects: TANA, HALUMBUNG (WAKCHALI), SAMARUNG, BHALU, TONGECCHA, PHALI, KHARTAMCHE, KHOTANG. Survey needed.

SANTALI (HOR, SATAR, SANTHALI, HAR, SONTHAL, SANDAL, SANGTAL, SANTAL, SENTALI, SANTALI, SANTHIALI) [SNT] 40,000 in Nepal (1985); 100,000 in Bangladesh (1983 UBS); 5,675,000 in India (1994 IMA); 5,800,000 in all countries. Jhapa and Koshi zones, Morang District. Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Santali. Some bilingualism in Maithili and Nepali. Agriculturalists. Bible 1914-1992. NT 1887-1962. Bible portions 1868-1989.

SHERPA (SHARPA, SHARPA BHOTIA, XIAERBA, SERWA) [SCR] 14,126 in Nepal; 19,000 in India (1994 IMA); 800 in China (1994); 34,000 or more in all countries. Solu Khumbu District, northern mountains. Khumbu extends north from Namche Bazaar; Solu is the southern region including the villages of Gumdi, Sete, Junbesi, Phaplu, and Solusaller. There may be some around Lukla. Large numbers in Kathmandu, especially in Bouddha. Also in Bhutan. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Southern. 67% lexical similarity with Jirel; 63% with Helambu Sherpa; 62% with Lopa and Dolpo; 58% with Lhomi, Baragaunle, and Lhasa Tibetan; 57% with Kyerung; 55% with Kutang Bhotia and Olangchung Gola. 5% to 15% literate. Typology: SOV. Lamaist. Bible portions 1977.

SONHA (SONAHAA) [SOI] 10,000 (1985). Along Karnali River in western Nepal, Kailali District, Seti Zone; Bheri River, Bheri Zone, Mahakali River, Mahakali Zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Unclassified. Close to Dangura Tharu; 80% intelligibility. Gold panners, agriculturalists. Survey needed.

SUNWAR (SUNUWAR, SUNBAR, SUNWARI, MUKHIYA, KWOICO LO) [SUZ] 20,000 to 25,000 (1991 W. Winter). Eastern hills, Ramechhap District, Janakpur Zone, and northwestern Okhaldhunga District. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Western. Dialect: SUREL. Related to Bahing, and more distantly to Thulung, Chourase, and Jerung. Some bilingualism in Nepali. 5% to 15% literate. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Hindu. NT 1992. Bible portions 1977.

TAMANG, EASTERN [TAJ] 584,097 to 718,048 in Nepal (1991 census); 13,177 in India (1994 IMA). Kathmandu and to the east and south. Sailing is in eastern Sindhu Palchowk, Ramechhap, Dolakha districts, Temal is in eastern Kabhre District, possibly all of Kabhre, western Sindhu Palchowk, and into Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, and eastern Nuwakot districts. They migrate to Sikkim and Darjeeling, India. Also in Bhutan and Myanmar. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Dialects: SAILUNG, TEMAL (TIMAL). Distinct from Northwestern Tamang and Southwestern Tamang. Dictionary. Grammar. 25% to 50% literate. Typology: SOV; postpositions, genitives after nouns; question word medial; CV, CVC, CCV, V, CCVC; tonal. Gallery forest. Mountain slope, valley. Swidden and peasant agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Hindu. Work in progress.

TAMANG, EASTERN GORKHA [TGE] 3,000 to 4,000 (1992). 904,456 all Tamang languages (1991 census). Tamang is the largest Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Nepal. North Gorkha District, Gandaki Zone, south and east of Jagat. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Dialects: KASIGAON, KEROUNJA. Appears to be distinct from Northwestern Tamang, Southwestern Tamang, and Eastern Tamang. Speakers refer to themselves as Gurung, but recognize that their language is different. Dialects have 81% lexical similarity with each other, 74% to 75% with Western Tamang, 68% to 69% with Lamagara Tamang, 50% with Banspur Gurung, 31% to 37% with Northern and Southern Ghale, 18% to 23% with Kutang Ghale, 14% to 16% with Nubri, Tsum, and Kyerung, 12% to 14% with Tibetan. A few primary schools. The nearest middle and secondary schools are in Arughat. Below 10% literate. Gallery forest. Mountain slope, valley. Swidden and peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 600 to 1,800 meters. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Hindu. Survey needed.

TAMANG, NORTHWESTERN (MURMI, WESTERN TAMANG) [TDG] 186,408 to 320,35 (1991 census). Bagmati Zone, Nuwakot District, central mountainous strip. Migrations to the Terai. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. 25% to 75% literate. Typology: SOV, postpositions, genitives after nouns, relatives before nouns, question word medial, CV, CVC, CCV, V, CCVC, CVCCC, tonal. Gallery forest. Mountain slope, valley. Swidden and peasant agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Hindu. NT 1990. Bible portions 1977-1986.

TAMANG, SOUTHWESTERN [TSF] 100,000 (1989). Nuwakot District, central mountainous strip. Migrations to Terai. Possibly Lalitpur, Makwanpur, and south and southwest. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. 25% to 75% literate. Typology: SOV, postpositions, genitives after nouns, relatives before nouns, question word medial, CV, CVC, CCV, V, CCVC, CVCCC, tonal. Gallery forest. Mountain slope, valley. Swidden and peasant agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Hindu. Survey needed.

THAKALI [THS] 7,113 (1991 census). Dhaulagiri Zone, Mustang District, Thak Khola, the mid Kali Gandaki Valley, with Annapurna Himal on one side and Dhaulagiri Himal on the other, from Tatopani village in the south to Jomosom in the north. Many live outside the area. Tukche is the cultural center. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Gurung. Dialects: TUKCHE (THAKALI, TAAMHAANG), MARPHA (PUNTAN), SYANG. 44% to 51% lexical similarity with Gurung, 46% to 50% with Tamang. Thakali dialects have 75% to 86% lexical similarity with each other, and 91% to 97% inherent intelligibility. Tukche is the prestige dialect. 39% of the adult population (45% of men and 33% of women) have good, general proficiency in Nepali; others are less proficient. Traders, operators of wayside inns. Buddhist.

THAMI [THF] 20,000 in Nepal (1985). Janakpur Zone, Dolakha District. May also be in China, although not known by that name. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Himalayish, Eastern. Related to Baraamu (Grierson-Konow). Stone cutters and transporters, hunters, agriculturalists, pastoralists. Traditional religion, Hindu.

THARU, CHITWAN (CHITUAN THARU, CHITAWAN THARU) [THE] 31,179 (1993); 776,000 all Tharu (1993 JJohnstone), 4% of the population. Southern strip of low country within Rapti Valley, Chitwan District. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified. A separate language from other Tharu. Tharu of Jhapa is a dialect of a different Indo-Aryan language. 5% to 15% literate. Plains. Bible portions 1977.

THARU, DANG (DANGORA, DANGURA, DANGALI, DANGHA) [THL] 228,000 in Nepal (1981); 31,000 in India (1981 census); 259,000 in all countries. Much farther west of most other Tharu, beyond Bhairawa-Butwal, a little north of the India border. Dang live primarily in Dang Valley of Dang-Deokri District, east of the Dangoras. Dangora live east of Rana, in all border districts west of Dang-Deokri District. Also in Uttar Pradesh India along the border in Nighasan Tehsil of Kheri District and Tulsipur Tehsil of Gonda District. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Unclassified. Dialects: SIVRATNAPUR DANGORA, KOTANI DANG, CHANDANPUR DANGORA, RAJIPUR DANGORA. A distinct language from other Tharu. 74% to 79% lexical similarity with Kathoriya, 72% to 74% with Sunha, 63% to 72% with Rana Thakur, 61% to 67% with Chitwan, 58% to 65% with Hindi. 68% to 91% intelligibility of Rana, 95% to 97% of Kathoriya. Some varieties listed as dialects have only 71% to 79% intelligibility of others. Closest to Mari Tharu. Possibly Eastern Hindi Group. Dang and Dangora are separate clans. 5% to 15% literate. Survey needed.

THARU, DEOKRI (DEOKHAR) [THG] 80,000 (1981 census). On eastern border with India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified. Distinct from Chitwan Tharu and Dang Tharu. May be distinct from Don Tharu in India to south of Bhairawa. 5% to 15% literate. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

THARU, KATHORIYA (KATHARIYA) [TKT] 60,000 (1981). Live near the Dangora, mainly in Kailali District. Also in Keri and Gonda districts, India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Unclassified. 79% lexical similarity with Dang and Rana, 66% with Hindi, 66% to 69% with Buksa, 63% with Chitwan. Rana and Dang appear to have good intelligibility of Kathoriya, and Kathoriya of them and Rana. Possibly Eastern Hindi Group.

THARU, MAHOTARI (MAHOTTARI) [THN] 32,000 (1981 census). Mahottari District, Janakpur Zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified. Distinct language from other Tharu. 5% to 15% literate. Survey needed.

THARU, RANA THAKUR (RANA THAKUR) [THR] 194,000 in Nepal (1981 census); 64,000 in India (1981 census); 258,000 in all countries. Far southwestern districts of Nepal: Kanchanpur and Kailali. Also on the eastern border of India, Nighasan Tehsil of Kheri District, Khatima, Sitarganj, Kiccha, and Haldwani tehsils of Nainital District, and Pilibhit districts. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified. Dialects: RANA SUGIA, RANA SISAIKERA, RANA SISANA, RANA MAJHGAM, RANA BANGAMA, THAKUR. Distinct from other Tharu languages. 83% to 97% lexical similarity among dialects, 73% to 79% with Buksa, 74% to 79% with Kathoriya, 70% to 73% with Sunha, 63% to 71% with Dang, 56% to 60% with Chitwan, 68% to 72% with Hindi. Speakers appear to have 96% to 99% intelligibility among dialects, 90% of Kathoriya, 51% to 88% of Rana dialects. 5% to 15% literate. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

THARU, SAPTARI (SAPTARI) [THQ] 60,000 (1981 census). Saptari District, Sagarmatha Zone. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified. Dialect: MORANGIA. Distinct language from other Tharu. 5% to 15% literate. Survey needed.

THUDAM BHOTE [THW] Mechi Zone, Taplejung District, northern. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. Survey needed.

THULUNG (THULUNGE RAI, DEUSALI, DEOSALI, THULU LUWA, THULULOA, THULUNG LA, THÖLONG LO, THULUNG JEMU, TOAKU LWA) [TDH] 25,000 in all countries (1991 W. Winter); 3,313 in India (1961 census). Eastern hills, Solukhumbu and Okhaldhung districts, Sagarmatha Zone. West of the highest ridges of the slopes to Dudhkosi, north of the Nechedanda and Halesidanda ranges, east of the upper Solu River, and south of the Kakukhola and the confluence of Ingkhukhola and Dudhkosi. Also in India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Eastern. Dialect: LANNACHYO. 'Lancho' may be an alternate name for Lannachyo. Related to Lingkhim. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Hindu.

TIBETAN (LHASA, BHOTIA, ZANG) [TIC] 60,000 in Nepal (1973 SIL); 124,280 in India (1994); 3,000 in Bhutan (1973); 1,066,200 in China (1990 census); 352 in USA (1970 census); 200 or more in Switzerland; 1,254,000 or more in all countries. Kathmandu. Also in Taiwan, Norway. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. Three dialects in Nepal. Agriculturalists, pastoralists, weavers. Lamaist. Bible 1948. NT 1885-1973. Bible portions 1862-1991.

TICHURONG (TICHERONG) [TCN] 1,500 (1980). Dolpa District, Karnali Zone. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. Close to Dolpa Tibetan, but a separate language. Survey needed.

TILUNG (TILING, TILLING, TILUNG BLAMA) [TIJ] 1,000 or fewer (1991 W. Winter). Halesidanda Range in the outer west of Khotang District, between Dudhkosi and Sunkosi. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Marginal Halesidanda. Dialects: CHOSKULE, DORUNKECHA. Little information available. Choskule and Dorungkecha may be dialects or related languages; no linguistic data available. Mountain slope. Survey needed.

TSEKU [TSK] Mechi zone far east. Also in Tibet, China, and Bhutan. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central. May not be in Nepal. Survey needed.

TSUM (TSUMGE) [TTZ] 2,200 to 3,500 (1980). North Gorkha District, Gandaki Zone, Tsum area, the region drained by the Shiar Khola north of Ganesh Himal. Chekampar (Chokong) is the prestige village. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Unclassified. 71% to 78% with Nubri, 66% with Kyerung; 60% to 66% with Lhasa Tibetan; 22% to 25% with Northern Ghale, 22% with Southern Ghale, 23% to 27% with Kutang Ghale, 14% to 16% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang, 14% with Western Gurung, 15% with Banspur Tamang. Divided into upper region, 'Yarba' and lower region, 'Ushug'. Speakers have minimal bilingualism in Nepali. A few primary schools. Literacy less than 10%. Tibetans in Kathmandu call the people 'Tsumba' and the language 'Tsumge'. Gallery forest. Mountain slope, valley. Agriculturalists, traders. Lamaist Buddhist. Survey needed.

VAYU (HAYU, WAYU, WAYO) [VAY] 1,500 (1974). Janakpur Zone, Ramechhap and Sindhuli Garhi districts. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Western, Marginal Western. Different than Chepang. Hodgson said it was becoming extinct in the mid-19th century, but it has survived until the end of the 20th century (Michailovsky 1988). Now no monolingual children, and strong Nepali influences in phonology, lexicon, and grammar (J. Matisoff 1991). Survey needed.

WALING (WALUNG, WALÜNG) [WLY] Khairang Panchayat, Bhojpur District. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Central, Marginal. Related to Dungmali. Probably extinct linguistically. Survey needed.

YAKHA (YAKKHA, YAKKHABA, YAKKHABA CEA, YAKKHABA SALA, DEWANSALA) [YBH] 8,000 to 10,000 in Nepal (1991 W. Winter). Tehrathum District, Sankhuwasawa District, Koshi Zone, Dhankuta District. East of the middle Arun River between the Hinuwankhola in the north and the Leguwakhola in the south. Also among British Gurkhas in Sikkim, India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Southwestern. Related to Lumba-Yakkha, Phangduwali, Mugali, Chhintang, Chhulung, Belhariya, and Athpahariya. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Buddhist, Hindu. Survey needed.

YAMPHE (YAMPHU, NEWAHANG YAMPHE, YAMPHE KHA) [YMA] 3,000 to 5,000 (1991 W. Winter). Makalu Panchayat, both sides of the upper Arun River, northern Sankhuwasawa. To the south, the Jaljale Himal east of the Arun and the Apsuwakhola west of the Arun; to the north as far as the Leksuwakhola and Barun rivers. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Northwestern. Dialects: SIBAO-YAMPHE, PA-O. Related to Yamphu, but distinct in grammar and phonology. Sometimes called 'Yakkha' or 'Yamphu', but it is a distinct language. Still spoken by many young people. High mountain slopes. Survey needed.

YAMPHU (YAMPHU RAI, YAMPHU KHA, YANPHU) [YBI] Eastern hills, upper Arun Valley, Matsayapokhari Panchayat, Sankhuwasawa District, extreme north of the Northern Lorung area, directly southwest of the Jaljale Mountains. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Eastern Himalayan, Kiranti, Eastern, Northwestern. Related to Yamphe but distinct gramatically and phonologically. Dialects of Southern Lorung and the Yamphe language are also called 'Yamphu'. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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