A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Camling, Chamlinge Rai, Rodong

83,200 in Nepal, all users. L1 users: 76,800 in Nepal (2011 census), decreasing. L2 users: 6,400 (2011 census). Very few monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 83,200 (as L1: 76,800; as L2: 6,400).


Sagarmatha zone: mainly central Khotang and north Udayapur districts.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Rai.


Balamtali, Ratanchhali, Halesi. Ratanchhali and Halesi dialects are similar to each other but Balamtali is very different. Reportedly most similar to Bantawa [bap] and Puma [pum] linguistically. Many speak a variety mixed with Nepali [npi].


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; up to 2 prefixes, up to 7 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; split and inverse ergativity; mixed tense-aspect; no passives or voice; nontonal; 28 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Home, religion; mixed use: friends, work. Some young people, all adults. Used as L2 by Puma [pum].

Language Development

Literature. Periodicals. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. NT: 2015.


Devanagari script [Deva], recently developed.

Other Comments

Many ethnic subgroups, but linguistically homogeneous. Traditional religion, Hindu.

Also spoken in:

Expand All
Collapse All
Page Views Left: