Basum language

Region Tibet, China
Native speakers
(2,500 cited 1989)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog basu1243[2]

Basum (autonym: brag gsum 'three cliffs'; Basong 巴松话) is a Central Tibetan language spoken by about 2,500 people in Gongbo'gyamda County 工布江达县, Nyingtri Prefecture, Tibet, China. Basum is spoken by 13.5% of the population of Gongbo'gyamda County.

Basum is spoken in Cuogao Township 错高乡 and Xueka Township 雪卡乡 of Gongbo'gyamda County 工布江达县, Nyingtri Prefecture, Tibet, China (Qu, et al. 1989).

Relationship with nearby languages

Basum Lake (Basum Tso) in Tibet

Qu, et al. (1989) notes that Basum is mutually unintelligible with and quite different from Gongbu Tibetan (Chinese: 工布话; 11,600 speakers), which is a Central Tibetan language variety closely related to Nyingchi Tibetan (Chinese: 林芝话). Basum is also unintelligible with Niangpu 娘蒲话 (also called Muqu 牧区话), which is a Khams Tibetan language variety spoken by 4,310 people in Jiaxing 加兴 and Niangpu 娘蒲 townships of Gongbo'gyamda County.


  1. Qu et al. 1989
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Basum". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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