Tibetan language

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Tibetan language,

member of the Tibeto-Burman subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages (see Sino-Tibetan languagesSino-Tibetan languages,
family of languages spoken by over a billion people in central and SE Asia. This linguistic family is second only to the Indo-European stock in the number of its speakers.
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). It is spoken by 5 million people in the Tibet autonomous region and the Qinghai and Gansu provinces of China and in Bhutan, Nepal, the Indian state of Sikkim, and part of Kashmir. There are a number of dialects. Tibetan tends to be monosyllabic and to lack inflection. Word order is, therefore, very important. Tibetan is also tonal, having six tones in all: short high, long high, short low, long low, high falling, and low falling. A system of writing that is a syllabary was devised for Tibetan in the 7th cent. A.D. and is derived ultimately from the northern Gupta alphabet of India, which, in turn, is a descendant of a Semitic script. Tibetan is written from left to right.


See H. N. von Koerber, Morphology of the Tibetan Language (c.1935); S. C. Das, An Introduction to the Grammar of the Tibetan Language (repr. 1972); G. N. Roerich and L. P. Lhalungpa, Textbook of Colloquial Tibetan (2d rev. ed. 1973).

References in periodicals archive ?
The text has been laid out with the Unicode Tibetan Language Kit (produced at Otani University) in a very clear dbu can font.
Since the occupation, millions have been killed, thousands of monasteries have been leveled, ancient scriptures have been burned, and the Tibetan language itself has been outlawed.
Krisadawan, A Thai professor who teaches Tibetan language told us that she visited the place earlier in 1990 it was still in ruin.
Beneath this heading is a review of Tales of Tibet: Sky Burials, Prayer Wheels, and Wind Horses, in which the reviewer notes that after decades of communist Chinese control, writers in Tibet are beginning to publish in the Tibetan language, "although some of those writing in the Tibetan language are, in fact, Chinese.
from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University He was awarded a Parker Huang Undergraduate Travel Fellowship while at Yale and a Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship, while at Columbia, both for Tibetan language and area studies.
s Stipe, Patti Smith, Natalie Merchant and poet Allen Ginsberg all performed recently at Carnegie Hall to raise money for Tibet House, which is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan language and culture - something China has been eradicating ever since it annexed the neighboring country in 1959.
32) (The poster mentioned earlier with characters from Journey to the West is part of a Larung-based campaign to purify the Tibetan language of foreign terms.
23 (ANI): Thousands of Tibetan students in western China have been staging protests since Tuesday against proposals to curb or eliminate the use of the Tibetan language in local schools.
All defense counsels were allowed to speak and the defendants were provided with Tibetan language translation to guarantee their rights.
The categories have connotations appropriate to the Christian tradition, while Tibetan Buddhism has no system for canonizing saints, and there is no emic term for "saint" in the Tibetan language.
In Thailand she is the first and only one who is fluent in Tibetan language.
AS TIBET SLOWLY EMERGES from forty years of stifling communist Chinese control, writers have begun, once again, to publish in the Tibetan language, although some of those writing in Tibetan are, in fact, Chinese.