Tibetan, Khams


A language of China

Alternate Names
Kam, Kami, Kang, Khamba, Khampa, Khams, Khams Bhotia, Khams-Yal

1,380,000 in China (1994). 996,000 Eastern, 135,000 Southern, 158,000 Western, 91,000 Northern. Total users in all countries: 1,380,300.


Qinghai province: Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture; Sichuan province: Ganzi (Garzê) Tibetan autonomous prefecture; Xizang Autonomous Region: Changdu (Qamdo) and Naqu (Nagqu) districts; Yunnan province: Diqing (Dechen) Tibetan autonomous prefecture.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Tibetan.


Eastern Khams, Southern Khams, Western Khams, Northern Khams. Dialects may be distinct languages; large differences reported. Lexical similarity: 80% with Central Tibetan [bod].


SOV; tonal, 4 tones.

Language Use

Used by all. Used as L2 by Muya [mvm], Shuhi [sxg].

Language Development

Modern Literary Tibetan [bod] is the language of literature. Grammar.


Tibetan script [Tibt].

Other Comments

Different from Western Parbate [kjl], Eastern Parbate [kif], Sheshi Kham [kip], and Gamale Kham [kgj] of Nepal. Buddhist.

Also spoken in:

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