Lhokpu language

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Region SW Bhutan (Samtse, Chukha)
Native speakers
2,500 (1993)[1]
  • Lhokpu
Language codes
ISO 639-3 lhp
Glottolog lhok1238[2]

Lhokpu, also Lhobikha or Taba-Damey-Bikha, is one of the autochthonous languages of Bhutan spoken by the Lhop people. It is spoken in southwestern Bhutan along the border of Samtse and Chukha Districts. Van Driem (2003) leaves it unclassified as a separate branch within the Sino-Tibetan language family.[3]


Lhokpu is spoken by the Lhop—a Dzongkha term meaning "Southerners"—, who "represent the aboriginal [gdung] Dung population of western Bhutan [....] Lhokpu is more closely related to the Eastern Kiranti languages of Nepal such as Lohorung or Limbu than to the Lepcha, and, in linguistic terms, Lhokpu seems to be the substrate language for Dzongkha in western Bhutan.".[4]


According to the Ethnologue, Lhokpu is spoken in Damtey, Loto Kuchu, Lotu, Sanglong, Sataka, and Taba villages, located between Samtsi and Phuntsoling, in Samtse District, Bhutan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lhokpu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Lhokpu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Driem, George van (2001). Languages of the Himalayas : an ethnolinguistic handbook of the greater Himalayan Region : containing an introduction to the symbiotic theory of language. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-9004103900. 
  4. ^ Driem, George van (1998). Dzongkha = rdoṅ-kha. Leiden: Research School, CNWS. p. 29. ISBN 978-9057890024.