Nubri language

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Kutang Bhotia, Larkye
लार्क्या भोटे
Native toNepal
Native speakers
  • Lho
  • Sama
  • Prok
Language codes
ISO 639-3kte
Geographic distribution of Tibetic languages of Nepal (including Nubri)

Nubri (Tibetan: ནུབ་རི; Devanagari: लार्क्या भोटे) is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by about 2000 ethnically Tibetan people living in Nubri Valley in northern Central Nepal,[2] upper Gorkhā District of Gandaki Pradesh.[3] Nubri has at least three dialects as typified by the Prok, Lho and Sama village varieties[4]. Nubri is largely undocumented and undescribed, with the exception of a lexicon.[5][6] Nubri is perhaps most closely related to neighbouring Tsum language and the Kyirong variety of Tibetan spoken just across the border in Tibet. It has also been claimed to be closely related to Gyalsumdo. Like these languages it is tonal and shares many Tibetic grammatical features, but is uniquely different in many ways.

The Nubri language project started in 2017 at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) with the aim of studying and documenting this language. Recent work includes studies of the case marking[7] and tone[8] as well as a valley-wide sociolinguistic survey which confirmed its classification as "definitely endangered."[9] Building from this, a recent effort towards language maintenance involved initiating community discussions about a writing system for Nubri. This was carried out in May 2019 in conjunction with a cataract clinic funded by the same HKU Knowledge Exchange grant (PI Cathryn Donohue).


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nubri". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ "Glottolog 3.3 - Lho". Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  3. ^ "Did you know Nubri is threatened?". Endangered Languages. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  4. ^ Donohue, Cathryn (2019) A comparison of linguistics minorities in Hong Kong and Nepal. Invited presentation at the University of Chicago Workshop on Linguistic Minorities in Asia. 23 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Nubri". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  6. ^ Dubi Nanda Dhakal (2018). A Nubri Lexicon. Lincom Europa. ISBN 9783862888597. OCLC 1023376430.
  7. ^ Donohue, Cathryn (2018). "Case marking in Nubri". Nepalese Linguistics. 33.
  8. ^ Donohue, Cathryn and Mark Donohue (2018) Tone in Nubri. Paper presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of Nepal.
  9. ^ Evans, Lisa (2011-04-15). "Endangered languages: the full list". the Guardian. Retrieved 2019-01-10.