Nar Phu language

Nar Phu
Native to Nepal
Region Manang district
Native speakers
600 (2011)[1]
  • Nar (Lower Nar)
  • Phu (Upper Nar)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 npa
Glottolog narp1239[2]

Nar Phu, or ’Narpa, is a Sino-Tibetan variety spoken in the two villages of Nar and Phu, in the Valley of the Nar Khola in the Manang district of Nepal. It forms a dialect continuum with Manang and may be intelligible with it; however, the Nar and Phu share a secret language to confound Gyasumdo and Manang who would otherwise understand them.[1]



Front Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open-mid ɛ
Low a ɑ


Bilabial Dental Retroflex Alveolo-palatal Velar
Plosive unaspirated p t ʈ k
aspirated ʈʰ
Affricate unaspirated ts
aspirated tsʰ tɕʰ
Fricative s ɕ
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Lateral voiced l
Rhotic voiced r
Approximant w j ɰ


Nar Phu distinguishes three tones: high falling, high level, low rising murmured, and mid/low falling murmured.


  1. 1 2 Nar Phu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nar Phu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


  • Noonan, Michael (2003). "Nar-Phu" Sino-Tibetan Languages, edited by Randy LaPolla and Graham Thurgood, 336-352. London: Routledge.
  • Kristine A. Hildebrandt (2013). “Converb and aspect marking polysemy in Nar” Responses to Language Endangerment: In Honor of Mickey Noonan, edited by Elena Mihas, Bernard Perley, Gabriel Rei-Doval, and Kathleen Wheatley, 97-117. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Kristine A. Hildebrandt, D.N. Dhakal, Oliver Bond, Matt Vallejo and Andrea Fyffe. (2015). “A sociolinguistic survey of the languages of Manang, Nepal: Co-existence and endangerment.” NFDIN Journal, 14.6: 104-122.
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