This dictionary is intended to be the basis of a written record of the Cyo’bang vocabulary (often called ‘Chepang’) for speakers of that language. It therefore is complementary to Caughley, R. C., 2000, A Dictionary of Chepang: a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal, which is intended mainly for scholars. Because it is written basically for the Cyo’bang people, details of the language and its environment are not given in this work. For a description of these aspects, the reader can consult the work quoted above.

This present dictionary contains some 6,000 entries, with the head-words being Cyo’bang and with definitions in both Nepali and English. Examples are in Cyo’bang and English only, for reasons of space. The Cyo’bang and Nepali are in the Devanagri script, with the headwords also having a romanised transcription.

The dialect that form the basis of this dictionary is the Eastern dialect, found in the western part of Makwanpur District. However a considerable number of vocabulary items from other dialects have been added. This includes words from the Western dialect and Bhujel.

Orthography and pronunciation

Because of the nature of the Devanagri alphabet used for Cyo’bang entries and examples, there are often many different ways of representing Cyo’bang sounds, particularly for consonant combinations. The particular orthography given in this work represents just one possible solution to the problems involved, and is intended only to give a basis for discussion.

As mentioned above, since this dictionary is intended primarily for the Cyo’bang people themselves details of pronunciation are not given here. Non-speakers should refer to Caughley, 2000, or better, ask a Cyo’bang speaker to pronounce the examples listed in the Cyo’bang introduction below.

In brief, however pronunciation is as follows:

  1. A voicless plosive(stop) followed by an ‘h’ is the aspirated form of the consonant e.g. ph is phonetically [ph]̤
  2. A voiced plosive followed by ‘h’ is a breathy form of the plosive: e.g bh is phonetically [b̤]

iii. A sonorant consonant preceded or followed by ’h’ is partly voiced e.g. hm is [m̥m], mh is [mm̥] These partly voiced consonants are written ङ्‌ह /hŋ, ŋh/; न्‍ह /hn nh/; म्‍ह /hm mh/; य्‍ह /hy yh/; ह्र /hr rh/; ल्‍ह /hl lh/; व्‍ह /hw wh/

In Roman script a ʔ is used to indicate a glottal syllable. In initial position this indicates a (usually weak glottal) onset. In final position it indicates a glottal/falling tone feature which is very common in the language. In Devanagri the virsarga symbol (:) is used only for final glottals.

When two glottals come together (at the end of one syllable, followed by the beginning of another, the glottalisation is realised as laryngealisation.

For Western dialects, in both Roman and and Devanagri a ' may used to indicate a sharp onset, a type of preglottal that only occurs before voiced resonant sounds (ŋ, n, m, y, r, l, w). It contrasts with a (usually weak) post glottal The preglottal appears to be equivalent usually to the Eastern non-glottal, but there are examples where this is different e.g. WD nyam(ʔ) sun, nyam grasshopper compare ED. nyam sun and nyam? grasshopper also compare WD la rope and laʔ arrow with ED la rope and laʔ arrow, WD myan hair and myan netbag.

The Roman entry word shows syllable breaks by inserting the full stop ‘.’ These often coincide with morpheme breaks.

The Devanagri halant symbol is used consistently to suppress the inherent vowel ə where necessary, even at the end of syllables, where it is usually omitted in Nepali. This means that, as stated before. आन much is pronounced [ʔanə], not [ʔan], whereas आङ्‌ body is pronounced [ʔaŋ], not [ʔaŋə] Also bələ a little gələ when. This consistent use is important for verbs, where there is a contrast between अप्‌सा ʔəpsa have thirst and अप:सा ʔəpəʔsa feel hot.

Some verbs can reduplicate the vowel to indicate a continuous process अरःसा Nepali फोक्‍नु ʔərʔburp up, spill over, compare अरअःसा ʔərəʔsa be spilling over. Others exist only in the reduplicated form, such as: अनअःसा ʔənəʔNepali फूर्तिलो active.

Order of entries

The order of entries basically is the same as the standard Devanagri alphabet, beginning with vowels, with the consonants following.

The order for Cyo’bang is (showing only letters relevant to that language):

( space), ( ्‌ halant), :, अ, आ, इ, उ, ए, ओ, क, ख, ग, घ, ङ, ङ्‌ह, च, छ, त, थ, द, ध, न, न्‍ह, प, फ, ब, भ, म, म्‍ह, य, य्‍ह, र, ह्र, ल, ल्‍ह, व, व्‍ह, स, ह,'

सा which indicates a verb root, is not counted for ordering.

These are equivalent to: ʔ,ə, a, i, u, e, o, k, kh, g, gh, ŋ, hŋ, c, ch, t, th, d, dh, n, hn, p, ph, b, bh, m, hm, y, hy, r, hy, l, hl, w, hw, s, h where ə is a central unrounded vowel, ŋ is a velar nasal and period (.) represents a posited syllable break which normally coincides with a morpheme break.

Entry layout:

Cyo’bang entry word in Devanagri script, Cyo’bang entry word in Roman orthography, word class abbreviation (see Introduction, below), Nepali gloss, English definition. Many entries have illustrative examples in Devanagri and Roman orthographies, followed by an English translation.

Subentries have the same layout, but are slightly indented.

The suffix –ताङः -taŋʔ is a reportative suffix, occurring commonly in example sentences. It is equivalent to English ‘so it is said’, but this is often omitted from the English free translation.


Word class: adn adjectival noun, adv. adverb, excl exclamation, n. noun, onom. onomatopoeic word, va descriptive verb, vi intransitive verb, vt transitive verb

Other: (ch.) chant word, used in song or shamanistic langauge, (B) Bhujel dialect, (WD) Western dialects, (NE) North-eastern dialect, (FE) Far eastern dialect, arch. archaic, no longer currently used. nb bound noun, sp. specific term, not generic.