Language Snapshots

Linguistic diversity in the Tibetan regions: a set of Language Snapshots

Authors:

  • Yulha Lawa

Abstract

This paper presents language profiles (or Language Snapshots) for each of the minority languages currently known to be used by Tibetans on the Tibetan Plateau in the People’s Republic of China, providing an overview of the extensive research that has been carried out on these languages by linguists and others.

Many of the languages are spoken in the Sino-Tibetan frontier region: a large, complex, and diverse transitional region between Tibetan and Chinese cultural realms. Numerous communities with various and complex inter-connections during different historical periods have fostered great degrees of linguistic diversity in this region. Documentation of these languages has historically been a low priority, for a variety of reasons, including physical accessibility to these communities, recognition of the languages at local and state levels, and so on. This paper is a step forward in recognizing and describing the region’s minority languages and collating information on the existing work on these languages, with the aim of supporting their maintenance and revitalization, and providing data for further research and applied work.

Minority languages on the Tibetan Plateau are linguistically distinct from Tibetic or Sinitic (Chinese) languages, even though they are all genetically related. The common Tibetan saying saying ལུང་པ་རེ་ལ་ཆུ་རེ།སེ་བ་རེ་ལ་སྐད་རེ། ‘Every...

Keywords:

TibetRegionsSino-TibetanDiversityLanguages
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 20
  • Page/Article: 244-312
  • DOI: 10.25894/ldd53
  • Published on 31 Dec 2021
  • children