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Kinnauri language: Wikis


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Spoken in Himachal Pradesh
Total speakers
Language family Sino-Tibetan
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Kinnauri, also known as Kanauri, Kanor, Koonawur, or Kunawar is a Tibeto-Burman language (Sino-Tibetan stock) spoken in the Kinnaur district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh by approximately 78,000 native speakers.



This description is of the Pangi dialect of Kinnauri.



Bilabial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive voiced b d ɖ ɡ
voiceless p t ʈ k
aspirated ʈʰ
Affricate voiced dz
voiceless ts
aspirated tsʰ tʃʰ
Fricative s ʃ h
Trill r
Approximant l j w

Note on palatals: /dʒ/, /tʃ/, /tʃʰ/, and /ʃ/ are post-alveolar. /ɲ/ is alveolo-palatal.


Kinnauri has five pairs of long/short sphonemes.

Front Central Back
Close i ɨ
Mid e o
Open a


/h/, aspirated obstruents (i.e. /pʰ/, /tʰ/, /ʈʰ/, /kʰ/, /t͡sʰ/, /t͡ʃʰ/), and glides (i.e. /w/, /j/) do not occur in syllable codas.

All consonants may occur in onsets and word-medially.

Kinnauri has the following types of syllables:

  • (C)V(C)(C)(C)
  • CCV(C)



  • Grimes, Barbara F. (Ed.). (2000). Ethnologue: Languages of the world, (14th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-106-9. (Online edition:
  • Nagano, Yasuhiko; & LaPolla, Randy J. (Eds.). (2001). New research on Zhangzhung and related Himalayan languages. Bon studies 3, Senri ethnological reports 19. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.
  • Takahashi, Yoshiharu. (2001). A descriptive study of Kinnauri (Pangi dialect): A preliminary report. In Y. Nagano & R. J. LaPolla (Eds.), New research on Zhangzhung and related Himalayan languages. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.


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