Tamang, Southwestern


A language of Nepal

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

109,000 (1991 census), increasing.


Bagmati Zone, southern Dhading district; Narayani Zone, Chitwan, northwest Makwanpur, Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat districts; west and northwest Kathmandu district area.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).


Preliminary results: 86% intelligibility of Western Trisuli Tamang [tdg], 87% by Central-Eastern Tamang [taj], 54%–67% by Outer-Eastern Tamang [taj]. Relationship within Tamang needs evaluation. Southwestern Tamang has 80% lexical similarity with Western Trisuli Tamang [tdg], 76%–78% with Western Rasuwa dialect [tdg], 78% with Northwestern Tamang [tmk], 70%–73% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang [tge], 77%–93% with Eastern Tamang [taj].


SOV; postpositions; noun head both initial and final; no noun classes or gender; content q-word initial; up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; genitives after nouns; relatives before nouns; question word medial; ergativity; tense and aspect; no passives or voice; CV, CVC, CCV, V, CCVC, CVCCC; tonal; 24 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Home; mixed use: Friends, religion, work, education. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Tibetan [bod] in religious contexts, Nepali [npi] in official contexts. Some also learn Bhojpuri [bho] and Maithili [mai].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–10%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–75%. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary.
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Buddhist, traditional religion, Christian.