Tamang
तामाङ, རྟ་དམག་ / རྟ་མང་/
Native toNepal
India
Bhutan
EthnicityTamang/Moormi
Native speakers
1.35 million in Nepal (2011 census)[1]
20,154 in India (2011 census)[2]
Tamyig script, Devanagari, Tibetan
Official status
Official language in
 India
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
taj – Eastern Tamang
tdg – Western Tamang
tmk – Northwestern Tamang (not distinct)
tge – Eastern Gorkha Tamang
Glottolognucl1729
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Selected ethnic groups of Nepal; Bhotia, Sherpa, Thakali, Gurung, Kirant, Rai, Limbu, Nepal Bhasa, Pahari, Tamang|Tamang (note that Kulu Rodu (Kulung) territories are mistakenly marked as Tamu/Gurung territories in this map)
Selected ethnic groups of Nepal; Bhotia, Sherpa, Thakali, Gurung, Kirant, Rai, Limbu, Nepal Bhasa, Pahari, Tamang|Tamang (note that Kulu Rodu (Kulung) territories are mistakenly marked as Tamu/Gurung territories in this map)

Tamang (Devanagari: तामाङ; tāmāng) is a term used to collectively refer to a dialect cluster spoken mainly in Nepal, Sikkim, West Bengal (Darjeeling) and North-Eastern India. It comprises Eastern Tamang, Northwestern Tamang, Southwestern Tamang, Eastern Gorkha Tamang, and Western Tamang. Lexical similarity between Eastern Tamang (which is regarded as the most prominent) and other Tamang languages varies between 81% to 63%. For comparison, lexical similarity between Spanish and Portuguese, is estimated at 89%.[4]

Dialects

Ethnologue divides Tamang into the following varieties due to mutual unintelligibility.

The Tamang language is the most widely spoken Sino-Tibetan language in Nepal.

Geographical distribution

Ethnologue gives the following location information for the varieties of Tamang.

Eastern Tamang

Southwestern Tamang

Western Tamang

Eastern Tamang

Grammar

Some grammatical features of the Tamang languages include:

Phonetically Tamang languages are tonal.

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Dental/
Alveolar
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive/
Affricate
voiceless p t ts ʈ k
aspirated tsʰ ʈʰ
palatalized tsʲ ʈʲ
labialized tsʷ ʈʷ
Fricative s h
Rhotic r
Approximant w l j

Vowels

Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Nasality only marginally occurs, and is typically transcribed with a [ã] mark.

Tones

Four tones occur as high falling [â], mid-high level [á], mid-low level [à], very low [ȁ].[5]

Writing system

Tamang language is written in Tamyig script.

References

  1. ^ Eastern Tamang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Western Tamang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Northwestern Tamang (not distinct) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Eastern Gorkha Tamang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  3. ^ "50th Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India" (PDF). 16 July 2014. p. 109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 January 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  4. ^ Ethnologue report for Spanish
  5. ^ Mazaudon (2003)

Bibliography