Lhokpu language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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]


George van Driem (2001:804)[4] notes that Lhokpu, although unclassified, maybe be more closely related to the Kiranti languages than to Lepcha. Furthermore, van Driem (2001:804-805) notes that Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan, may in fact have a Lhokpu substratum.


Lhokpu is spoken by the Lhop—a Dzongkha term meaning "Southerners"—, who "represent the aboriginal [gdung] Dung population of western Bhutan.[5]


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.


The Lhop people are animists rather than Buddhists, burying their dead rather than cremating them as Buddhists do. Their society is matrilineal and matrilocal.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lhokpu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lhokpu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: 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. ^ van Driem, George. 2001. Languages of the Himalayas. Leiden: Brill
  5. ^ Driem, George van (1998). Dzongkha = rdoṅ-kha. Leiden: Research School, CNWS. p. 29. ISBN 978-9057890024. 
  6. ^ Gwendolyn Hyslop. 2016. Worlds of knowledge in Central Bhutan: Documentation of 'Olekha. Language Documentation & Conservation 10. 77-106.