|Khams skad, Khamké|
|Region||Khams (Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan in China)|
|(1.4 million cited 1994)|
Khams Tibetan (Tibetan: ཁམས་སྐད, Wylie: Khams skad, THL: Khamké) is the Tibetic language used by the majority of the people in Kham. Khams is one of the three branches of the traditional classification of Tibetic languages (the other two being Amdo Tibetan and Ü-Tsang). In terms of mutual intelligibility, Khams could communicate at a basic level with the Ü-Tsang branch (including Lhasa Tibetan).
Both Khams Tibetan and Lhasa Tibetan evolve to not preserve the word-initial consonant clusters, which makes them very far from Classical Tibetan, especially when compared to the more conservative Amdo Tibetan. Also, Kham and Lhasa Tibetan evolved to be tonal, which Classical Tibetan was not.
Kham Tibetan is spoken in Kham, which is now divided between the eastern part of Tibet Autonomous Region, the southern part of Qinghai, the western part of Sichuan, and the northwestern part of Yunnan, China.
Khampa Tibetan is also spoken by about 1,000 people in two enclaves in eastern Bhutan, the descendants of pastoral yak-herding communities.
There are five dialects of Khams Tibetan proper:
These have relatively low mutual intelligibility, but are close enough that they are usually considered a single language. Khamba and Tseku are more divergent, but classified with Khams by Tournadre (2013).
Several other languages are spoken by Tibetans in the Khams region: Dongwang Tibetan language and the Rgyalrong languages.
The phonologies and vocabularies of the Bodgrong, Dartsendo, dGudzong, Khyungpo (Khromtshang), Lhagang Rangakha, Sangdam, Sogpho, sKobsteng, sPomtserag, Tsharethong, and Yangthang dialects of Kham Tibetan have been documented by Hiroyuki Suzuki.