A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Kagate, Shuba, Shuuba, Shuva, Shuwa, Shyuuba, Syuba Tam, Syuuba, Yholmo, Yholmoli, Yholmu, “Kagate Bhote” (pej.)
स्युबा‎ (Syuba)

1,500 (2012 SIL). Very few monolinguals.


Janakpur zone: Ramechhap district, a Likhu Khola ridge.

Language Status

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


Differs from Helambu Sherpa [scp] by less use of the honorific system in verbs, which makes intelligibility more of a problem for the Syuba. It could be considered a dialect of Helambu Sherpa.


SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, relatives before noun heads; numerals after noun heads; noun head initial; no noun classes or genders; content q-word early in the clause; 1 prefix, up to 4 suffixes; subject, object, indirect object, case of noun phrase indicated by postpositions; clause constituents indicated by both case-marking and word order; split ergativity; rich tense and aspect system; no passives or voice; impersonal voice; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVC, CVV, CCV, CCVV, CVVC; 26 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes; tonal (4 tones).

Language Use

Home, friends; mixed use: Religion, work. Some young people, all adults. Positive attitudes. Some also use Nepali [npi], at home.

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: Few. Literates in Nepali [npi] have very little trouble reading Syuba in Devanagari script. Dictionary. Texts. Bible portions: 1977.


Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.

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