Nar Phu


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names

600 (2011 K. Hildebrandt). 200 Phu speakers, 400 Nar speakers.


Gandaki Zone, Manang district, Nar valley north of Manang valley, Nar (Nargaon, Chhuprung) and Phu (Phugaon, Nartwe) villages.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Nar (Lower Nar, Nar-Mä), Phu (Nar-Tö, Upper Nar). In a dialect continuum with Manangba [nmm] and possibly intelligible with it.


SOV; postpositions; noun head initial; no noun classes or gender; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 2 suffixes; clause constituents primarily indicated by case-marking; tense and aspect; no passives or voice; tonal; 25 consonants, 8 simple vowels and 5 diphthongs.

Language Use

If work is locally oriented, then Nar-Phu used; Tibetan [bod] is the liturgical language, but one can hear Nar-Phu in certain contexts during religious festivals. All ages. Many men are fluent in Tibetan [bod].

Language Development
Many men are literate in Classical Tibetan. Dictionary.

Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

See themselves as separate from Manangba and Gurung. Used as a secret language to confound Manangis and Gurungs who might otherwise understand their conversation (2002 M. Noonan). Buddhist.