Gurung, Western


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Gurung, Tamu Kyi

125,000 in Nepal (2007), increasing. 12,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 158,000. Ethnic population: 544,000.


Gandaki Zone, Kaski and Syangja districts; Dhaulagiri Zone, Parbat district. Possibly in Myanmar. Also in Bhutan, India.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Northwestern Gurung (Kaski Gurung), Southern Gurung (Syangja Gurung). Dialect speakers may have enough mutual intelligibility to understand complex and abstract discourse, but not enough with Eastern Gurung [ggn]. Related to Thakali [ths].


SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, relative clauses precede noun heads; numerals after noun heads; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; rising intonation marks bipolar questions; one negative prefix on verbs; up to 2 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; case of noun phrases is indicated by postpositions; 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 the tone system

Language Use

Children and young people use Gurung less frequently than those who are older. Passed down only a little from generation to generation (2002 UNESCO). Home; mixed use: Friends, religion, work. Some use among all ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Nepali [npi]. School graduates speak some English [eng].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 30%. Literacy rate in L2: 30%. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1982.
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Buddhist, Hindu, Christian.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All