30,000 in Nepal (2003). A few elderly monolinguals. Thulung communities also in Bhojpur and Sankhuwasabha districts, scattered in Udayapur, Morang, Panchthar, and Ilam districts. Migrants may not speak Thulung as L1.
Sagarmatha Zone, southeast Solukhumbu district, Deusa, Lokhim, Mukli, Jubu, Tingla, Salyan, Panchan, and Necha VDCs; Khotang district, Salle, Jaleswori, and Maheswori VDCs; Okhaldhunga district, Tuintar VDC, 6 or 7 villages; Koshi Zone, Bhojpur district, 1 village; west of the slopes’ highest ridges to Dudhkosi, north of Nechedanda and Halesidanda ranges, east of upper Solu river, and south of the Kakukhola and the confluence of Ingkhukhola and Dudhkosi. Also in India.
5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C), Rai nationality.
SOV; postpositions; noun head final; content q-word in situ; no prefixes, up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; tense; passives and voice, but rare; tonal; 29 consonant and 16 vowel phonemes
Language retention high compared to other Rai languages (Winter and Hanson 1991). Home, friends, religion. All ages. Neutral attitudes. Do not believe each other’s dialect is ’pure’ Thulung. Women speak less Nepali [npi] than men. Most men speak Nepali well.
Interest in development among cultural associations (Thulung Rai Society). Traditional religion, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian.