Native toIndia
Native speakers
1,750 (2006)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3drd

Darmiya or Darma is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in the Darma Valley, Dharchula Tehsil, Pithoragarh District of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the fifteen tribes, as stated in The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Uttar Pradesh Order, 1967 (C.O. 78) in clause (1) of Article 342 of the Constitution of India. Majorly it is called Bhotia; Bhotia is the broad term used in Himalayan region: several communities and languages are considered under this term. This tribal language is the member of west Tibeto-Burman language family in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. It is related to Rangas, Rongpo, Chaudangsi, and Byangsi.[1] Alternate names for this language include Darma, Darma Lwo, Darma-Lwo, Darmani, Saukas, and Shaukas.[1]

Information about the language was first published in Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India, and it has been studied by Krishnamurti, Cristina Wills, K. Srikumar, Kavita Rastogi, Ashish Kumar Pandey and Vishnu Singh.

Darmiya language has 34 phonemes in which 8 vowels and 28 consonants have occurred, there are five long vowels and three short vowels.

Geographical distribution

Darmiya is spoken in the Dhauli valley, from Tawaghat near Dharchula south to Sipoo in the north along Dhauli river. This area is located in Dharchula and Munsiyari tehsils, Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, India.[1] Darmiya is spoken in Dar, Bongling, Selachal, Nanglin, Baling, Dugtu, Saung, Baun, Philam, Datu, Gwo, Marchha, Dhakar, Sobla, and Sipoo villages.[1]


The Darmiya language contains the following consonant phonemes:[2]

Bilabial Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Retroflex Velar
Nasal m ɲ ɳ ŋ
Stop voiceless unaspirated p t͡s t͡ʃ ʈ k
aspirated t̪ʰ t͡ʃʰ ʈʰ
voiced unaspirated b ɟ ɖ g
aspirated ɖʰ
Fricative s ʝ x
Approximant l j
Rhotic r ɽ

The language contains the following vowels:[2]

Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-Mid e ɘ o
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open ɑ


  1. ^ a b c d e Darma at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ a b Ramaswami, N (2014). Moran, Steven; McCloy, Daniel; Wright, Richard (eds.). "Darmiya sound inventory (RA)". phoible.org. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Retrieved 2017-02-10.

Further reading