227,000 (2007), decreasing. 23,000 monolinguals. 339,000 all Gurung languages in Nepal (2001 census). Ethnic population: 544,000.
Gandaki Zone, Lamjung, Tanahu, and west Gorkha districts. Possibly Manang district.
6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).
Gorkha Gurung, Lamjung Gurung, Tamu Kyi. Eastern and Western Gurung [gvr] do not have adequate intelligibility to handle complex and abstract discourse. Daduwa town in Lamjung District seems central linguistically.
SOV; postpositions; noun head final; genitives, adjectives, relative clause precede noun heads; numerals after noun heads; rising intonation in bipolar questions; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix on negative verbs; up to 2 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; case of noun phrase shown by preposition; no subject or object referencing in verbs; split ergative system according to tense; causatives; benefactives; aspect; no passives or voice; 24 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes; CV, CCV, CCCV; tonal: voice quality or register is part of tone system
Children and young people use Gurung less frequently than those who are older. Passed down only a little from generation to generation (UNESCO). Mixed use: Home, friends, religion, work, education. Some use among all ages. Also use Nepali [npi]. School graduates use some English [eng]. Gurung reinforces ethnic membership. Nepali [npi] viewed as essential, English [eng] as economically advantageous.