A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Chantel, Chantel Kham, Chentel, Chhantel, Chhantyal, Khamkura

4,570, all users. L1 users: 4,280 (2011 census), decreasing. L2 users: 290 (2011 census). No monolinguals.


Dhawalagiri zone: Myagdi district in Kali Gandaki river valley. Ethnic Chantel in Baglung district.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


None known. Related to Gurung [gvr], Manangba [nmm], Tamang [tdg], and Thakali [ths] (Noonan 1996).


SOV; head noun final; dual number; agglutinative language; case-marking clitics (over 20 cases); tense, aspect and mood in verbal morphology; 40 consonants and 12 vowels (6 oral and 6 nasal); non-tonal; stress on first syllable; evidentiality.

Language Use

Home, villages (Noonan 1996). Not used for singing. Some young people, all adults. Also use Nepali [npi].

Language Development

Dictionary. Grammar. Texts.


Devanagari script [Deva], recently developed.

Other Comments

Some believe Chantyal will be replaced soon. Outsiders often regard it as Magar, but they claim a Thakuri origin (de Sales 1993). Much lexical borrowing from Nepali. Sometimes called Khamkura as are Kham languages, which can have a general meaning of local non-Nepali dialect. (Watters 2002). Traditional religion, Buddhist.

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