A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Bujal, Bujhel, Bujheli, Bujhyal, Pukhgyal Ngur, Western Chepang, “Gharti” (pej.)

23,290, all users. L1 users: 21,700 (2011 census), decreasing. L2 users: 1,590 (2011 census). No monolinguals. Ethnic population: 7,200 (Regmi 2007).


Gandaki zone: Gorkha district, Beltar; Tanahun district, Andimul, Arthumpka, Baniyatar, and Kulmun; Lumbini zone: Nawalparasi district, Dhodeni; Narayani zone: Chitwan district, Chanaute.

Language Maps
Language Status

8a (Moribund). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Bhujel.


Kulmun, Arthumpka, Andimul, Baniyatar, Beltar, Dhodeni, Chanaute. More than 80% intelligibility among all the dialects. Pronominal affix differences hinder intelligibility with Chepang [cdm]. Lexical similarity: Between 34% (2011 D. Regmi) and 98% (2004 R. Caughley) with Chepang [cdm].


SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, numerals, before noun heads; relatives before or without noun heads; noun head final; content q-word in situ; question word final; no noun classes or genders; 1 prefix, up to 5 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; consistently ergative; anti-dative marking; affixes indicate case of noun phrase; verb affixation marks person, number and direct relations; no passives or voice; causatives; comparatives; CV to CCCVCCC with certain restrictions; non-tonal; 31 consonant and 16 vowel (including 6 diphthongs) phonemes.

Language Use

Shifting to Nepali [npi] (Van Driem 2007). Home; mixed use: Work, education. Older adults only. Positive attitudes. Also use Nepali [npi], especially youth. Used as L2 by Sunwar [suz].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 15% in Nepali [npi]. Grammar. Texts.


Devanagari script [Deva], recently developed.

Other Comments

Similar culturally to Magar and Gurung living near the Bhujel. Gharti is a sub-caste name associated with former slavery. Bhujels reject the name, but outsiders often use it. Separated from Chepang [cdm] language area by Trisuli river. Hindu, Buddhist, Christian.

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