Nubri

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Kutang, Kutang Bhotia, Larkye
Population

2,000 (2001 census). 500 monolinguals.

Location

Gandaki Zone, North Gorkha district, upper Buri Gandaki river, from Namrung to Samdo and Prok.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).

Dialects

Lho, Namrung, Prok, Sama. Only moderately intelligible of Kyirong Tibetan [kgy] (74%). The most distinct variety reportedly spoken in Samdo village. Sama is somewhat divergent. Tsum [ttz] reportedly not intelligible with Nubri. The language spoken in the Kutang area is not intelligible with Nubri, although most who live in this area reportedly can speak and understand Nubri. Lexical similarity: 78%–93% among dialects. Prok is more distinct. 71%–78% with Tsum [ttz]; 66%–74% with Kyirong Tibetan [kgy]; 67% with Dolpo [dre]; 65% with Loke [loy]; 59%–64% with Lhasa Tibetan [bod]; 64% with Olangchung Gola [ola] (Walungge) and Lhomi [lhm]; 61% with Helambu Sherpa [scp]; 57% with Jirel [jul]; 55% with Sherpa [xsr]; 21%–27% with Northern Ghale [ghh]; 20%–23% with Southern Ghale [ghe]; 14%–31% with Kuke [ght]; 14% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang [tge], Western Gurung [gvr], and Banspur Tamang.

Typology

SOV; postpositions; content q-words in situ

Language Use

Vigorous. Most domains. Positive attitudes. Minimal proficiency in Nepali [npi] and Tibetan [bod]. Nepali is used with outsiders.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Below 10%.
Writing
Unwritten.
Other Comments

Nubri marry within their community and from the Kutang community. People trade in Gorkha District and also with Tibet. Ethnonym: Bhotia or Bhote, refers to people of Tibetan origin; in some contexts derogatory. Ethnic identity is closely affiliated between the Nubri and the Kuke [ght]. Buddhist (Lamaist).