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Tilung language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Native toNepal
RegionSagarmatha Zone
Native speakers
1,400 (2011 census)[1]
  • Choskule
  • Dorungkecha
  • Tilung proper
Language codes
ISO 639-3tij

Tilung (Nepali तिलुङ ) is a moribund Kiranti language spoken in Nepal. According to Opgenort (2011, 2013), Tilung occupies an independent position within the Kiranti language family, and can be placed roughly between the Western languages Thulung, Khaling and Dumi, on the one side, and the Southern Central Kiranti languages Kulung, Chamling and Bantawa, on the other. Even though Tilung is spoken directly to the south of the Wambule speaking area, Tilung and Wambule are not mutually intelligible. The Choskule and Dorungkecha "dialects" may be related languages.[1]


Tilung is spoken by a few elderly people living in several small settlements in Chyasmitar (च्यास्मिटार) Village Development Committee (VDC), southern Khotang (खोटाङ) district, Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal (Opgenort 2011, Ethnologue). It is located on the northern bank of the Sunkosi (सुनकोशी) River, on the last ridge of the Halesi Range. According to the 2001 Census of Nepal (with data from 1991), Chyasmitar VDC had a population of 2,167 persons living in 412 households, and there were 310 speakers of Tilung. However, Opgenort's (2011, 2013) more recent investigations have shown that there are only a few fluent speakers of Tilung remaining. These people are all older than 60 years and fully bilingual in Nepali, which is the dominant language among the Tilung ethnic community.


  1. ^ a b Tilung at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tilung". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • Opgenort, Jean Robert. 2011. A note on Tilung and its position within Kiranti. Himalayan Linguistics 10.1:253-271.
  • Opgenort, Jean Robert. 2013. ‘Initial grammatical sketch of Tilung’, pp. 329–392 in Trans-Himalayan Linguistics. Historical and Descriptive Linguistics of the Himalayan Area. Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 266. Thomas Owen-Smith, Nathan Hill, eds. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Central Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Population census. Kathmandu: National Planning Commission.

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Tilung language
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