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Tibeto-Burman languages,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.
..... Click the link for more information. ; BurmeseBurmese,
language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages (see Sino-Tibetan languages). It is spoken by about 30 million people in Myanmar, where it is both the principal and the official language.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Tibetan languageTibetan language,
member of the Tibeto-Burman subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages (see Sino-Tibetan languages). 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
..... Click the link for more information. .
a group of languages distinguished by some scholars within the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Tibeto-Burman languages are spoken mainly in the People’s Republic of China (Tibetan Autonomous Region and the southwestern part of China), Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, northern India (including Sikkim), and Bhutan. The number of speakers is approximately 35 million (1970, estimate).
According to the American scholar P. Benedict, the Tibeto-Burman languages may be divided into seven basic groups: (1) Tibetan-Kanauri, including Tibetan, Gurung, Murmi, and Kanauri; (2) Kiranti, including Vayu, Bahing, and Chepang; (3) Miri, including Miri, Abor, and Dafla; (4) Kachin; (5) Burmese-Lolo, including Burmese, Lisu, Lahu, Nakhi, and Tangut (Hsi-Hsia); (6) Barish, including Garo and Bobo; and (7) Kuki-Naga, including Lushei, Thado, Ao, Sema, and Empeo. However, certain scholars find insufficient linguistic foundation for distinguishing a Tibeto-Burmese branch of the Sino-Tibetan family.
Although the Tibet-Burman languages share certain common features, including syllabic structure and word order, they differ significantly among themselves. They include languages with developed morphologies, including Kachin and Newari (the latter’s place in the classification has not been determined), and isolating languages, including many of the Burmese-Lolo languages. Tones have developed in some of the languages. The written languages use alphabets of Indian origin, for example, Tibetan, Burmese, and Newari, or native hieroglyphic systems, for example, Tangut and Moso; most, however, lack writing systems. Burmese, Tibetan, Tangut, and Newari also have their own literatures.
REFERENCESShafer, R. Introduction to Sino-Tibetan, vols. 1–5. Wiesbaden, 1966–74.
Shafer, R. Bibliography of Sino-Tibetan Languages, vols. 1–2. Wiesbaden, 1957–63.
Benedict, P. K. Sino-Tibetan: A Conspectus. Cambridge, 1972.