A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Camling, Chamlinge Rai, Rodong

76,800 in Nepal (2011 census), decreasing. Very few monolinguals.


East, Sagarmatha Zone, mainly central Khotang district and northern Udayapur districts.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Rai.


Balamtali, Halesi, Ratanchhali. Ratanchhali and Halesi dialects are similar to each other but Balamtali is very different. Reportedly most similar to Bantawa [bap] and Puma [pum] linguistically. Many speak a variety mixed with Nepali [npi].


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; up to 2 prefixes, up to 7 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; split and inverse ergativity; mixed tense-aspect; no passives or voice; nontonal; 28 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Home, religion; mixed use: friends, work. All ages. Used as L2 by Puma [pum].

Language Development
Poetry. Magazines. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar.

Devanagari script [Deva], recently developed.

Other Comments

Many ethnic subgroups, but linguistically homogeneous. Traditional religion, Hindu.

Also spoken in:

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