Bumthang is a Tibeto-Burman language of the East Bodish group, largely spoken in the district of Bumthang in north-central Bhutan. There is some "spill" of the language outside the district of Bumthang into neighbouring districts (Trongsa, Lhuntse, Monggar and even Zhemgang), though it is far from clear that there are firm language boundaries between the named varieties in these districts (Khengkha, Kurtoep, Mangde/Hengkha/Nyenkha/Trongsa) and Bumthang, rather than there being a continuum between the different 'languages' and the different Bumthang dialects. Van Driem (1995: 1) writes that 'it is linguistically defensible to consider Bumthang, Kheng and Kurtoep as three distinct dialect groups of a single Greater Bumthang Languages. The differences between the various dialects of Kheng appear to be just as great as the differences between any one of these dialects and a randomly chosen dialect of Bumthang.' In light of the dialectal diversity that even Bumthang itself displays, evident in the lexicon, phonology, phonological rules, and morphological possibilities, it appears likely that this region contains much more underlying linguistic diversity than has been reported and presented.
In 2013 and 2015 we ran classes at The Australian National University investigating the Bumthang language; further, Mark has visited Bumthang and collected data in Ura and the other valleys. Here we (Ginny Dawson, Mark Donohue, Donna Holland, Tom Ovens, in 2013, and Mark Donohue, Bonnie Maclean, Yuka Morinaga, Naomi Peck, Catherine Prince, and Tom Wyatt - see here) report on our work into the Ura ([uɾəj]) dialect of Bumthang, from the extreme south-east of the language's range. In this area the area name is typically pronounced as [pṳmda̤ŋ], though this is not reflected in the Uchen script above. The language itself is known as [pṳmda̤ŋbekha].
Notes on the phonology of Bumthang are here.
Notes on the morphology of Bumthang are here.
Basic Bumthang conversational phrases are here.
Some Bumthang texts are here.
More images of Ura and Bumthang.
Some basic vocabulary: Bumthang numerals་རྙིས་
The numerals from eleven to twenty, all in one file:
|11-20||choré ~ chwaré, chwangis ~ chonis, chusum, cheblé, chénga, chegrok, chirwnyis, chepjat, chedogo, khaére|
Two additional numerals are found in the one to ten range, used only when counting round containers of liquid: