Walungge

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Halung, Halungge, Walongchung Gola, Walung, Walungchung Gola, Walunggi Keccya
Population

1,500 in Nepal (2001 census), decreasing. 1,200 in the original language area. High language loss among those who have left the language area.

Location

Mechi Zone, Taplejung district, upper Tamar and Gunsa valleys. Small area in Kosi Zone.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Walung, Topkegola.

Dialects

Ghunsa River, Olangchung Gola (Upper Tamar River), Topke Gola (Mewa River). High intelligibility of Thudam [thw]. Reportedly similar to Tibetan dialect in Tingay District of Tibet. Lexical similarity: 71% with Lhasa Tibetan [bod], 68% with Dolpo [dre], Loke [loy], and Kyerung (Kyirong) [kgy], 66% with Lhomi [lhm] and Helambu Sherpa [scp], 64% with Nubri [kte], 57% with Jirel [jul], 55% with Sherpa [xsr].

Language Use

Positive attitudes.

Writing

Tibetan script [Tibt].

Other Comments

Cut off from the Lhomi, with more links to Tibet. Some intermarriage with Lhomi and Tibetan. The people call themselves Sherpa. They do not have a specific language name which groups all varieties of the language together and distinguishes the language from other Tibetan languages. The word “Walungge” comes from a name of one of the main villages in the language area. Buddhist.