A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Thami, Thangmi Kham, Thangmi Wakhe, Thani

24,200 in Nepal (Turin 2007), decreasing. 100 monolinguals (2002 UNESCO). Population total all countries: 25,000. Ethnic population: 35,000 (Turin 2007).


Janakpur Zone, Dolakha district, villages north and west; Ramechhap district, villages on Sailung Khola; Bagmati zone, Sindhupalchok district, villages east; Kathmandu. Also in China, India.

Language Status

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


Eastern Thangmi (Dolakha), Western Thangmi (Sindhupalchok). Related to Baram [brd] (Grierson-Konow). Some cognates with Dolakha dialect of Newar [new]. Dolakha and Sindhupalchok dialects are not mutually intelligible. Differ in phonology, nominal and verbal morphology and lexicon.


SOV; both prepositions and postpositions; noun head both initial and final; gender, only some animate nouns; content q-word in situ; up to 3 prefixes, up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person; no ergativity; tense; passives and voice; nontonal; 33 consonant and 13 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Ethnic Thangmi outside Dolakha and Sindhupalchok no longer speak Thangmi. Religion; mixed use: Home, friends. Older adults and elderly. Some use among children, adolescents, and young adults. Negative attitudes, but changing to more neutral and positive.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 10%. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar.
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Traditional religion, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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