Lhomi

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Lhoket, Lhomi dzyükki keccyok, Lhomiki keccyok, “Bho Te bhasha” (pej.), “Kar Bhote” (pej.), “Kath Bhote” (pej.)
Autonym
ल्होमी‎ (Lhomi)
Population

L1 users: 7,000 (2014 SIL), increasing. Ethnic population: 15,000. Total users in all countries: 9,320.

Location

Kosi zone: north Sankhuwasabha district to the border, Chepuwa VDC, Chepuwa, Chhumusur, Chyamtang, Gumba, and Rukuma villages; Hatiya VDC, Hatiya, Hungung, Namase, Pharang, Shiprung, Simbung, and Syaksila villages; southernmost village is Seksum in Arun valley; some in Kathmandu.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Lhomi (Shingsawa).

Dialects

None known. Lexical similarity: 69% with Dolpo [dre], 68% with Loke [loy], 66% with Walungge [ola], 65% with Lhasa Tibetan [bod] and Kyerung (Kyirong) [kgy], 64% with Nubri [kte], 60% with Helambu Sherpa [scp], 58% with Sherpa [xsr], 57% with Jirel [jul].

Typology

SOV; postpositions; noun head initial; masculine and feminine (limited class); content q-word precedes the main verb; 1 prefix, up to 3 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; split ergativity; aspect; no passives or voice; tonal (tense-lax); 23 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes; evidentiality is a salient feature of Lhomi syntax.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, friends, religion; mixed use: Work. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Central Tibetan [bod]. Also use Nepali [npi], especially educated people (fluently), women (increasingly), and 90% of men for trade. Used as L2 by Eastern Tamang [taj], Gurung [gvr], Khaling [klr], Naaba [nao], Thudam [thw].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 25%. Literacy rate in L2: 30%. Bilingual literacy campaign should impact adult (and women’s) literacy rate in Lhomi and Nepali [npi]. Literature. Newspapers. Videos. NT: 1995. Agency: Nepal Lhomi Society.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian.

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