Gongduk language

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Gongdukpa Ang
Region Bhutan
Native speakers
2,000 (2006)[1]
  • Gongduk
Tibetan script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 goe
Glottolog gong1251[2]

Gongduk or Gongdu (Tibetan: དགོང་འདུས་Wylie: Dgong-'dus, it is also known as Gongdubikha[3]) is an endangered Sino-Tibetan language spoken by about 1,000 people in a few inaccessible villages located near the Kuri Chhu river in the Gongdue Gewog of Mongar District in eastern Bhutan. The names of the villages are Bala, Dagsa, Damkhar, Pam, Pangthang, and Yangbari (Ethnologue).

Gongduk has complex verbal morphology, which Ethnologue considers a retention from Proto-Tibeto-Burman,[1] and is lexically highly divergent.[4] On this basis, it is apparently not part of any major subgroup and will probably have to be assigned to its own branch.[4][5]

The people are said to have come from hunters that would move from place to place at times.[6]

Currently, George van Driem is working towards the completion of a description of Gongduk based on his work with native speakers in the Gongduk area.[5]


  1. ^ a b Gongduk at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Gongduk". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ "Gongduk". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  4. ^ a b Blench, R. & Post, M. W. (2013). Rethinking Sino-Tibetan phylogeny from the perspective of Northeast Indian languages
  5. ^ a b Himalayan Languages Project. "Gongduk". Himalayan Languages Project. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Languages and Ethnic Groups of Bhutan". www.languagesgulper.com. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 


  • Dzongkha Development Authority; Dasho Sangay Dorji; Col. Wangdi Tshering; Namgay Thinley; Gyembo Dorji; Phuntsho Wangdi; Lekyi Tshering; Sangay Phuntsho (2005). དགོང་འདུས་རྫོང་ཁ་ཨིན་སྐད་ཤན་སྦྱར་ཚིག་མཛོད། (Gongduk-Dzongkha-English Dictionary). Thimphu: Dzongkha Development Authority. p. 115. ISBN 99936-663-1-9. 
  • van Driem, George L; et al. (Karma Tshering of Gaselô) (1998). Dzongkha. Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region. Leiden: Research School CNWS, School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies. pp. 32–33. ISBN 90-5789-002-X. 
  • van Driem, George L (2007). "Endangered languages of Bhutan and Sikkim". In Brenzinger, Matthias. Language diversity endangered. Trends in linguistics. Studies and monographs. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 314–15. ISBN 3-11-017050-7. 

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