Nar Phu


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names

600 (2011 K. Hildebrandt). 200 Phu speakers, 400 Nar speakers.


Gandaki zone: Manang district, Nar valley, Nar (Chhuprung, Nargaon) and Phu (Nartwe, Phugaon) villages.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Nar (Lower Nar, Nar-Mä), Phu (Nar-Tö, Upper Nar). In a dialect continuum with Manangba [nmm] and possibly intelligible with it.


SOV; postpositions; noun head initial; no noun classes or gender; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 2 suffixes; clause constituents primarily indicated by case-marking; tense and aspect; no passives or voice; tonal; 25 consonants, 8 simple vowels and 5 diphthongs.

Language Use

If work is locally oriented, then Nar-Phu used; Tibetan [bod] is the liturgical language, but one can hear Nar-Phu in certain contexts during religious festivals. Used by all. Many also use Central Tibetan [bod], especially men.

Language Development

Many men are literate in Classical Tibetan. Dictionary. Texts.


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

See themselves as separate from Manangba and Gurung. Used as a secret language to confound Manangis and Gurungs who might otherwise understand their conversation (2002 M. Noonan). Buddhist.

Page Views Left: