A language of Nepal

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

6,260 (2011 census), decreasing. 150 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 10,000.


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

Language Status

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


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. Also use Bantawa [bap].

Language Development
Poetry. Newspapers. Dictionary.

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

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