Tamang, Northwestern


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Kath-Bhotiya, Lama Bhote, Murmi, Rongba, Sain, Tamang Gyoi, Tamang Gyot, Tamang Lengmo, Tamang Tam

67,200 (2011 census), increasing. Population for all Tamang varieties: 1,350,000 (2011 census).


Bagmati zone: Nuwakot district, central mountainous strip.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Tamang.


Dhading. All Western Tamang varieties have high mutual intelligibility. Lexical similarity: 94% with Western Trisuli Tamang [tdg], 82%–83% with Western Rasuwa Tamang [tdg], 76%–77% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang [tge], 72%–80% with Eastern Tamang [taj].


SOV; postpositions; noun head both initial and final; no noun classes or gender; no prefixes, up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; ergativity; genitives after noun head; relatives before noun head; question word medial; tense and aspect; no passives or voice; CV, CVC, CCV, V, CCVC, CVCCC; tonal; 25 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Home; mixed use: Friends, religion, work, education. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Central Tibetan [bod], in religious contexts. Also use Nepali [npi], in official contexts.

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 1%–10%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–75%. Taught in primary schools. Literature. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. Dictionary. Texts.


Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist.

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