The poorly documented and closely related languages Raji, Raute, and apparently Rawat are spoken by hunter-gatherers in the Nepali Terai. The three languages are spoken by in the Karnali and Kali river watersheds of western Nepal, and in the border of the state of Uttarakhand (Udham Singh Nagar district) in India. Their relationship within the Sino-Tibetan languages is unclear.
A database of 700 items from households of Raute and Ban Rawat speakers (Fortier 2012) indicates a largely Sino-Tibetan language ancestry. Deep Root items include 58 words of Sino-Tibetan origin and 7 of Austroasiatic origin. Proto-family items include 281 morphemes of Proto-Tibeto-Burman origin. Meso-root, or subfamily items include 34 words of Proto-Kuki-Chin origin, 23 of Proto-Tani origin, 6 of Proto-Tangkulic origin, and 1 of Northern Chin origin. The database omits most loans of Indo-Aryan origin although 43 items were of Sanskrit origin. Work remains on identifying etymologies of the remaining 247 items in the Raute–Rawat database.
- George van Driem (2001) Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region. Brill.
- Fortier, Jana (2012) "Annotated Dictionary of Raute and Rawat Languages"