Language name and location: Jirel, Bagmati province, Nepal [Refer to Ethnologue]

言名称和分布地区基勒尔语, 尼泊尔东部巴格玛蒂省


1. dokpoi


2. ŋi

22.  kʰald͡ziktaŋi

3. sum

23.  kʰald͡ziktaŋsum

4. si


5. ŋa


6. tʰuk


7. duin


8. ɡet


9. ɡu


10. t͡sutʰambaː


11. t͡sutsik


12. t͡suŋi


13. t͡suksum


14. t͡supsi


15. t͡syaŋa


16. t͡suruk


17. t͡supdin

100. kʰal ŋa ( 20 x 5 )

18. t͡sepket


19. t͡surɡu


20. ŋesu / kʰald͡zik



Linguist providing data and dateː Prof. Dr. Tej R. Kansakar, Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhivan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, December 15, 2013.

供资料的语言学家: Prof. Dr. Tej R. Kansakar, 2013 年 12 月 15 日.


Other comments: Jirel has a traditional vigesimal system, however, they might use Nepali numerals after twenty more frequently now. Ethnologue reports Jirel has Some comprehension of Lhasa Tibetan and some Tibetan dialects. Grammatically similar to Sherpa. Jirel is a tonal language has four contrastive tone patterns. New data in IPA with tones needed.

     Jirel has four contrastive tone patterns. The main domains of tone is the 
     phonological word.   This word may consist of one or more syllables or one or
     more morphemes.  It is the realm of a correlation between pitch and contour. 
     In the basic tone pattern, the characteristic pitch level is confined to the initial
     syllable of the word, while the contour spreads over the whole word.  In 
     monosyllabic words the contour is realized as a falling or non-falling glide. 
     In di- and poly-syllabic words the non-falling contour is either level or rising. 
    The other contour is falling.

    The contrastive tone patterns are marked with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 in superscript
    at the end of the word in the Roman transcription of Jirel.  The two high tones carry
    numbers 1 and 3, the two low tones the numbers 2 and 4 respectively.

    Word-initial voiced stops and affricates  / b /, / d /, / ḑ /, / j /, / g / occur only
    with low tone.  All other consonants can occur with either high or low tone.

Table 1.  The four contrastive tone patterns of monosyllabic words



non-falling contour

falling contour

high pitch

la1    'wages'

la3  'steam'

low pitch

la2   'mountain'

la4  'work'


Table 2.  The four contrastive tone patterns of disyllabic words


non-falling contour

falling contour

high pitch

chomu1   'sister-in-law'

chomu3    'a specific day' 

low pitch

phumu2  'daughter'

chyomu4   'hen'


For more details on the different aspects of the Jirel phonology,  see the following two publications :

     Strahm, Esther, and Anita Maibaum. 1971. Jirel Phonemic Summary.
     Tibeto-Burman Phonemic   Summaries  XI. Summer Institute of Linguistics.
     = Kathmandu: Tribhuvan University.

      Strahm, Esther, and Anita Maibaum.  2005. Jirel-Nepali-English Dictionary. 
      Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu,


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