A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Camling, Chamlinge Rai, Rodong

12,100 in Nepal (2006), decreasing. Very few monolinguals.


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

Language Status

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


Balamtali, Halesi, Ratanchhali. Ratanchhali and Halesi dialects are similar to each other but Balamtali is very different. 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.

Language Development
Poetry. Magazines. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar.
Devanagari script, recently developed.
Other Comments

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

Also spoken in:

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