22,300 in Nepal, all users. L1 users: 20,700 (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.
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.
Devanagari script [Deva].
Interest in development among cultural associations (Thulung Rai Society). Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu.