A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Daduwa, Gurung, Western, Tamu Kyi

326,000 in Nepal (2011 census), increasing. L2 users: 18,900 in Nepal (1991 census). 12,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 544,000. Total users in all countries: 377,900 (as L1: 359,000; as L2: 18,900).


Gandaki Zone, Kaski, Syangja, Lamjung, Tanahu, and west Gorkha districts, possibly Manang district; Dhawalagiri Zone, Parbat district.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Central dialect of Gurung. Related to Thakali [ths].


SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, relative clauses precede noun heads; numerals after noun heads; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; rising intonation marks bipolar questions; one negative prefix on verbs; up to 2 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; case of noun phrases is indicated by postpositions; no subject or object referencing in verbs; split ergative system according to tense; causatives; benefactives; aspect; no passives or voice; 24 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes; CV, CCV, CCCV; tonal: voice quality or register is part of the tone system.

Language Use

Children and young people use Gurung less frequently than those who are older. Passed down only a little from generation to generation (2002 UNESCO). Home; mixed use: Friends, religion, work, education. Some use among all ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Lhomi [lhm], Nepali [npi].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 30%. Literacy rate in L2: 30%. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1982.

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian, Hindu.

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