Bahing language

Native speakers
12,000 (2011 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3bhj
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Bahing (ancestor named Paiwa, Dungmowa, Rukhusalu, Waripsawa, Timriwa, Dhimriwa, Nayango, Dhayango, Khaliwa/Khaluwa, Rendukpa/Rendu, Rungbu/Rumdali[3]) is a language spoken by 11,658 people (2011 census) of the Bahing ethnic group in Nepal.[4] It belongs to the family of Kiranti languages, a subgroup of Sino-Tibetan.

The group Rumdali is also known as Nechali among some of them.


Ethnologue lists the following alternate names for Bahing: Baying, Bayung, Ikke lo, Kiranti-Bayung, Pai Lo, Radu lo.

Geographical distribution

Bahing is spoken in the following locations of Nepal (Ethnologue).


According to Ethnologue, Bahing consists of the Rumdali, Nechali, Tolacha, Moblocha, and Hangu dialects, with 85% or above intelligibility among all dialects. Rumdali is best understood by the most people.


The Bahing language was described by Brian Houghton Hodgson (1857, 1858) as having a very complex verbal morphology. By the 1970s, only vestiges were left, making Bahing a case study of grammatical attrition and language death.


Bahing and the related Khaling language have synchronic ten-vowel systems. The difference of [mərə] "monkey" vs. [mɯrɯ] "human being" is difficult to perceive for speakers of even neighboring dialects, which makes for "an unlimited source of fun to the Bahing people" (de Boer 2002 PDF).


Hodgson (1857) reported a middle voice formed by a suffix -s(i) added to the verbal stem, corresponding to reflexives in other Kiranti languages.


  1. ^ Bahing at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bahing". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ linked to Rumjatar by Hanßon–Winter 1991
  4. ^ Detailed language map of eastern Nepal, see language #4 near the map's north/south center and about 2/3 of the way from east to west

External links

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