A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Dangali, “Humla Bhotia” (pej.), Humli Khyampa, Phoke

5,000 (2014 SIL). 36% of the Limi dialect are monolingual. Ethnic population: 5,000 (2014 SIL).


Seti Zone, Bajura, Bajhang, Surkhet, and Achham districts; Karnali Zone, Humla district, villages northwest from Simikot towards China border, villages slightly northeast of Simikot; Kathmandu.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Eastern Humla (Nyinba), Humli Khyampa, Limi, Lower Humla, Upper Humla (La Yakba). Humli Khyampa is a nomadic group whose members sometimes pass through Humla. It is unclear if Humli Khyampa is a dialect of Humla Tibetan, a dialect of another Tibetan language or a separate Tibetan language. More research is needed (2014 D. Greninger). Lexical similarity: 79% between Limi and Upper Humla varieties, 82% between Limi and Lower Humla varieties, 74%–77% between Limi and Eastern Humla varieties, 78%–85% between Upper Humla and Lower Humla varieties, 73%–77% between Upper Humla and Eastern Humla, 76%–82% between Lower Humla and Eastern Humla.


SOV; postposition; noun head initial; noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 3 suffixes; case-marking and word order; verbal affixation marks person (conjunct vs. disjunct distinction); tense and aspect; no passives or voice; 35 consonants (Limi variety) and 7 vowel phonemes; tonal.

Language Use

Home, friends, religion, work. All ages. Positive attitudes. Few also use Central Tibetan [bod]. Few also use Hindi [hin]. Nepali [npi] is used mostly for trade.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 10%–15% Tibetan [bod]. Some schools using English [eng] medium, some Tibetan [bod] instruction. Dictionary.

Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

The Humli Khyampa are a traditionally nomadic group whose members sometimes pass through Humla. They are now becoming more semi-nomadic. They are buying land and building houses in districts south of Humla in western Nepal (2014 D. Greninger). Buddhist.