A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Arthare, Arthare-Khesang, Dungmali Pûk, Dungmali-Bantawa, Khesange

220 (2001 census), decreasing. 150 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 10,000.


Koshi Zone; east Bhojpur district, Thulo Dungma, Sano Dungma, and Bastim VDCs, east border is Arun river.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C), Rai nationality.


Khesang (Khesange). 82% cognate with Bantawa [bap] but morphology and phonology differ (Winter 1991). Lexical similarity: 80% with Bantawa [bap], 65% with Puma [pum].


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and gender; split ergativity; tense; no passives or voice; tonal; 18 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Home, religion. Mixed use: Friends, work. Young adults and older. Some use among children and adolescents. Many also use Bantawa [bap].

Language Development
Poetry. Newspapers. Dictionary.
Other Comments

Local names which may not be dialects: Chhinamkhang, Chhichhangchha, Hangbang, Khandung, Pungwai, Roktulung, Tuncha, Waitpang. Traditional religion.