6,500 in Nepal (2006 SIL). 1,630 monolinguals (2002 UNESCO). Ethnic population: 6,500. Total users in all countries: 7,000.
Karnali Zone, Mugu district, Mugu, Mangri, Pulu, Kimri, and Dolphu VDCs; Jumla district, Jumla; Kathmandu.
6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Mugali.
Mugom (Moe-ket, Mugali, Mugomba, Mumbai-kat), Karmarong (Karani, Kar-ket, Karmai-kat). Intelligibility 89%–93% between dialect speakers (possibly higher). Definitely sufficient to understand complex and abstract discourse. Reportedly similar to Humla [hut], Dolpo [dre], and Loke [loy]. Lexical similarity: more than 85% between dialects, 75% with Tibetan [bod].
SOV; postpositions; content q-word in situ; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; ergativity; no passives or voice; tonal.
Tibetan script [Tibt].
Karanis want recognition as a separate ethnic group. Mugalis may not accept materials written in Karani, and vice versa. Mugom value Nepali and English as a way to higher education. Mugalis see themselves a bit higher than Karanis, and are more influential as they travel and trade more. Buddhist.