Lepcha language

Lepcha Language

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Lepcha language

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Lepcha language, or Róng language (Lepcha: ; Róng ríng), is a Himalayish language spoken by the Lepcha people in Sikkim and parts of West Bengal, Nepal and Bhutan.


Lepcha is spoken by minorities in the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal, as well as parts of Nepal and Bhutan. Where it is spoken, it is considered to be an aboriginal language, pre-dating the arrival of the Tibetan languages (Sikkimese, Dzongkha, and others) and more recent Nepali language. Lepcha speakers comprise four distinct communities: the Renjóngmú of Sikkim; the Támsángmú of Kalimpong, Kuresong, and Mirik; the ʔilámmú of Ilam District, Nepal; and the Promú of southwestern Bhutan. Lepcha groups in India are larger than those in Nepal and Bhutan.

Lepcha speakers estimate their own numbers to near 53,000,


Lepcha is difficult to classify, but Van Driem (2001) suggests that it may be closest to the Mahakiranti languages, a subfamily of the Himalayish languages. On the other hand, SIL International classifies Lepcha within Himalayish languages as a member of the sister Tibeto-Kanauri languages while noting an alternative classification within the Naga languages.

Lepcha is internally diverse, showing...
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