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.

Bibliography

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 ?
Doklam or Zhoglam (in Standard Tibetan), known as Donglang in Chinese is an area with a plateau and a valley, lying between Tibet's Chumbi Valley to the north, Bhutan's Ha Valley to the east and India's Sikkim state to the west.
The standard Tibetan list is therefore almost certainly translating a Sanskrit list that had das a first, ahrtaka second, and vikritaka fifth, a list that--so far at least--would have corresponded to that found in the Bhiksukarmavakya from Gilgit, the earliest manuscript witness that we have for the Sanskrit list.
(3.) Except for standard Tibetan terms and names that appear in transcribed form in the text, Tibetan words are italicised and transliterated according to the system described by Wylie (1959).

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