A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Tholong Lo, Thulu Luwa, Thululoa, Thulung Jemu, Thulung La, Thulunge Rai, Toaku Lwa
थुलुडॱ‎ (Thuluḍa)

22,300 in Nepal, all users. L1 users: 20,700 in Nepal (2011 census). Thulung communities also in Bhojpur and Sankhuwasabha districts, scattered in Udayapur, Morang, Panchthar, and Ilam districts. Migrants may not speak Thulung as L1. L2 users: 1,600 (2011 census). A few elderly monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 22,300 (as L1: 20,700; as L2: 1,600).


Kosi zone: Bhojpur district, 1 village; Sagarmatha zone: southeast Solukhumbu district, Deusa, Jubu, Lokhim, Mukli, Necha, Panchan, Salyan, and Tingla VDCs; Khotang district, Salle, Jaleswori, and Maheswori VDCs; Okhaldhunga district, Tuintar VDC, 6 or 7 villages.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Rai.


Northern Thulung (Deusa Lwa), Southern Thulung (Necha Lwa), Central Thulung (Mukli Lwa), Eastern Thulung (Jubu Lwa, Lokhim Lwa). Many cognates with Khaling [klr].


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; content q-word in situ; no prefixes, up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; tense; passives and voice, but rare; tonal; 29 consonant and 16 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Language retention high compared to other Rai languages (Winter and Hansson 1991). Home, friends, religion. Used by all. Neutral attitudes. Also use Bahing [bhj]. Also use Nepali [npi], especially men, who tend to speak it with greater proficiency than women. Used as L2 by Nepali [npi].

Language Development

Literature. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Texts. NT: 2017. Agencies: Thulung Language Development Center; Thulung Sama.


Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Interest in development among cultural associations (Thulung Rai Society). Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu.

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