Kham language

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Kham Pang
खाम पाङ
Native to Nepal
Region Rapti Zone, Rolpa and Rukum Districts
Dhaulagiri Zone, Baglung DistrictKarnali regions
Ethnicity Western Magar
Native speakers
27,000 (2011 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
No official status
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
kif – Eastern Parbate Kham
kgj – Gamale kham
kip – Sheshi Kham
kjl – Western Parbate Pang
Glottolog kham1286[2]
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Kham, also Kham Pang (Nepali: खाम भाषा)—narrowly defined—is a complex of Sino-Tibetan Magaric languages spoken natively in the highlands of the Rolpa and Rukum districts of Rapti and the westernmost part of Baglung district in Dhawalagiri Zone and Karnali region by western clans of the Kham tribes, called collectively western Khams. Randy LaPolla (2003) proposes that Kham magar and Dhut magar may be part of a larger "Rung" group. However both may ultimately go for separate ethnic identity as they have distinct linguistic and cultural barriers.

Geographical distribution[edit]

Ethnologue lists the following location information for the varieties of Kham.

Eastern Parbate Kham (dialects: Bhujel Kham, Nishel Kham) is spoken in the following villages of Baglung District, Dhawalagiri Zone.

  • Nishel dialect: Nisi, Bhalkot, and Budhathok villages
  • Bhujel dialect: Kuku, Diza, Kang, Masbang, Musuri, and Sukurdung villages

Western Parbate Kham (dialects: Takale, Maikoti, Mahatale, Lukumel, Wale, Thabangi)

Taka-Shera considered to be the center of the Western Parbate Kham.

Gamale Kham (dialects: Tamali, Ghusbanggi)

Gamale Kham is spoken in the western hills of Gam Khola, in Gam, Jhyalgung, Chalbang, Tamali, Dangadhara, Sheram, Ghusbang, Huiching, Guwakholagau, Maulabang, and Kuipadhara villages.

Sheshi Kham (dialects: Tapnanggi, Jangkoti)

  • Western hills of Rukum District, Rapti Zone: in Jangkot, Kotgaon (Tapnang), Rimsek, Korcabang, Dangdung, Hwama, Dhangsi, Bhabang, and Ghapa villages.



Kham Pang has 22 consonants.

Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s
voiced d͡z
aspirated t͡sʰ
Fricative voiceless s h
voiced z
Rhotic ɾ
Approximant central j w
lateral l
  • The rhotic /ɾ/ is realized as a trill [r] at the end words. Otherwise, it is a flap.


Kham Pang has 25 vowels.

  Front Central Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
short long nasal short long short long nasal short long nasal short long nasal
Close i ĩː y   ɯ ɯː ɯ̃ː u ũː
Mid e ẽː ø øː ə əː ə̃ː   o õː
Open   a ãː  


  • voice register


  1. ^ Eastern Parbate Kham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Gamale kham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Sheshi Kham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Western Parbate Pang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kham". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.