"Tangkhul" written in Meitei script.jpg
Tangkhul written in Meitei script
Native toIndia
RegionManipur, Nagaland
EthnicityTangkhul people
Native speakers
670,000 including Khangoi (2019)[1]
  • Ukhrul
  • Kupome (Luhupa)
  • Phadang
Language codes
ISO 639-3nmf
ELPTangkhul Naga

Tangkhul is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Tangkhulic branch, spoken in 168 villages of Ukhrul district, Manipur, India. The term "Tangkhul" is derived from the Meitei language terms, "Tang" (Meitei: ꯇꯥꯡ, romanized: /tāng/) meaning "scarce" and "Khul" (Meitei: ꯈꯨꯜ, romanized: /khūl/) meaning "village" respectively.[2] According to another theory, the term "Tangkhul" is derived from "Thankhul", meaning "Than village" in Meitei language.[3][4][5]



Bilabial Labio-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
Fricative voiceless f s h
voiced z
Nasal m n ŋ
Rhotic r
Lateral l
Approximant w ʋ j


Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Mid e ə o
Open a


  1. ^ Tangkhul at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Sanyu, Visier (1996). A History of Nagas and Nagaland: Dynamics of Oral Tradition in Village Formation. University of Michigan. Commonwealth Publishers. p. 25. ISBN 978-81-7169-369-6. ... a sparse nature of settlement that the Tangkhul tribe got its name. In Meitei language-literally, Tang means scarce and khul means village.
  3. ^ Shimray, A. S. W. (2001). History of the Tangkhul Nagas. Akansha Publishing House. p. 43. ISBN 978-81-87606-04-8. ... the village which they lived was known by the name ' THANKHUL ' meaning Than - Village in Meitei language . Therefore , the name ' TANGKHUL ' is derived from Than - Khul ...
  4. ^ Lisam, Khomdan Singh (2011). Encyclopaedia Of Manipur (3 Vol.). p. 516. ISBN 978-81-7835-864-2. The name Tangkhul was given to them by the Meiteis. There are many legends regarding the origin of the word Tangkhul.((cite book)): CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  5. ^ "History | Ukhrul District, Government of Manipur | India". National Informatics Centre (in English and Manipuri). Government of India. The name Tangkhul was given to them by their neighbours, the Meiteis. The northern Tangkhuls were also called the Luhupas.((cite web)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Ahum, Victor (1997). Tangkhul-Naga grammar: a study of word formation. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University.