A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
“Kagate Bhote” (pej.), Shuuba, Shyuuba, Syuuba, Syuwa, Yholmo, Yholmoli, Yholmu

100 (2011 census). Very few monolinguals.


Janakpur Zone, Ramechhap district, a Likhu Khola ridge.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Differs from Helambu Sherpa [scp] by less use of the honorific system in verbs, which makes intelligibility more of a problem for the Kagate. It could be considered a dialect of Helambu Sherpa.


SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, relatives before noun heads; numerals after noun heads; noun head initial; no noun classes or genders; content q-word early in the clause; 1 prefix, up to 4 suffixes; subject, object, indirect object, case of noun phrase indicated by postpositions; clause constituents indicated by both case-marking and word order; split ergativity; rich tense and aspect system; no passives or voice; impersonal voice; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVC, CVV, CCV, CCVV, CVVC; 26 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes; tonal (4 tones).

Language Use

Home, friends; mixed use: Religion, work. Older adults and elderly. Some use among children, adolescents, and young adults. Positive attitudes. Some also use Nepali [npi] at home. Used as L2 by Helambu Sherpa [scp].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Few. Literates in Nepali [npi] have very little trouble reading Kagate in Devanagari script. Poetry. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1977.

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Buddhist (Lamaist), Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.