Sociolinguistic Survey of Lohorung

Statement of Responsibility:
Mitchell, Jessica R. and Holly J. Hilty

This report presents the results of sociolinguistic research conducted among representatives of the Lohorung [ISO 639-3: lbr], Yamphu [ybi], and Southern Yamphu [lrr] language communities of Sankhuwasabha and Dhankuta districts in Nepal. Linguistic and anthropological research, by van Driem (2001), Rutgers (1998), Hansson (1991), and Hardman (2000), provide helpful context for this investigation of sociolinguistic realities between these groups. The goals of this survey include clarifying the relationships between Lohorung and two related languages; investigating dialect variation and attitudes between three Lohorung communities (Pangma, Angala, and Dhupu); assessing Lohorung language vitality in these three communities; and understanding the Lohorung community’s desires for development. This research adds to previous linguistic description of Lohorung and Yamphu to confirm that, despite their close relationship, they speak separate languages. There is little dialect variation between the Lohorung villages we visited. There are positive attitudes towards the speech variety of Pangma. While language vitality varies among these three Lohorung villages, the degree of vitality (EGIDS 6b, Threatened) warrants language-based development. The Lohorung community desires language-based development, most notably multi-lingual education, adult literacy, and a dictionary.

151 pages
Language surveys
dialect variation
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