Tibeto-Kanauri languages

Last updated
Tibeto-Kanauri
Bodic, Bodish–Himalayish
Western Tibeto-Burman
Geographic
distribution
Nepal, Tibet, and neighboring areas
Linguistic classification Sino-Tibetan
  • Tibeto-Kanauri
Subdivisions
Glottolog bodi1256

The Tibeto-Kanauri languages, also called Bodic, Bodish–Himalayish, and Western Tibeto-Burman, are a proposed intermediate level of classification of the Sino-Tibetan languages, centered on the Tibetic languages and the Kinnauri dialect cluster. The conception of the relationship, or if it is even a valid group, varies between researchers.

Contents

Conceptions of Tibeto-Kanauri

SinoTibetanTree.svg
Western Tibeto-Burman languages, largely following Thurgood and La Polla (2003). [1]

Benedict (1972) originally posited the Tibeto-Kanauri aka Bodish–Himalayish relationship, but had a more expansive conception of Himalayish than generally found today, including Qiangic, Magaric, and Lepcha. Within Benedict's conception, Tibeto-Kanauri is one of seven linguistic nuclei, or centers of gravity along a spectrum, within Tibeto-Burman languages. The center-most nucleus identified by Benedict is the Jingpho language (including perhaps the Kachin–Luic and Tamangic languages); other peripheral nuclei besides Tibeto-Kanauri include the Kiranti languages (Bahing–Vayu and perhaps the Newar language); the Tani languages; the Bodo–Garo languages and perhaps the Konyak languages); the Kukish languages (Kuki–Naga plus perhaps the Karbi language, the Meitei language and the Mru language); and the Burmish languages (Lolo-Burmese languages, perhaps also the Nung language and Trung). [2]

Matisoff (1978, 2003) largely follows Benedict's scheme, stressing the teleological value of identifying related characteristics over mapping detailed family trees in the study of Tibeto-Burman and Sino-Tibetan languages. Matisoff includes Bodish and West Himalayish with the Lepcha language as a third branch. He unites these at a higher level with Mahakiranti as Himalayish. [3] [4]

Van Driem (2001) notes that the Bodish, West Himalayish, and Tamangic languages (but not Benedict's other families) appear to have a common origin. [5]

Bradley (1997) takes much the same approach but words things differently: he incorporates West Himalayish and Tamangic as branches within his "Bodish", which thus becomes close to Tibeto-Kanauri. This and his Himalayan family[ same as Mahakiranti? ] constitute his Bodic family. [6]

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Sino-Tibetan languages Large language family of Asia

Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sources, is a family of more than 400 languages, second only to Indo-European in number of native speakers. The vast majority of these are the 1.3 billion native speakers of Chinese languages. Other Sino-Tibetan languages with large numbers of speakers include Burmese and the Tibetic languages. Other languages of the family are spoken in the Himalayas, the Southeast Asian Massif, and the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Most of these have small speech communities in remote mountain areas, and as such are poorly documented.

Tibetic languages Cluster of Tibeto-Burman languages descended from Old Tibetan

The Tibetic languages is a well-defined group of languages descended from Old Tibetan. According to Tournadre (2014), there are 50 languages, which split into over 200 dialects or could be group into 8 dialect continua. It is spoken in the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalayas in Baltistan, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Classical Tibetan is the major literary language, particularly for its use in Buddhist literature.

The Mahakiranti or Maha-Kiranti languages are a proposed intermediate level of classification of the Sino-Tibetan languages, consisting of the Kiranti languages and neighbouring languages thought to be closely related to them. Researchers disagree on which languages belong in Mahakiranti, or even whether Mahakiranti is a valid group. The group was originally proposed by George van Driem, who retracted his proposal in 2004 after a field study in Bhutan.

George van Driem Dutch linguist

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Gurung language differs from place to place. Gurung of Nepal not only speak Tamu Kyi but also speaks Manangi, Mustangi and Seke. The total number of all Gurung speakers in Nepal was 227,918. Nepal's official language Nepali, is an Indo-European language, whereas Gurung is a Sino-Tibetan language. Gurung is one of the major languages of Nepal, and is also spoken in India, Bhutan, and by diaspora communities in other countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Indosphere is a term coined by the linguist James Matisoff for areas of Indian linguistic and cultural influence in South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is commonly used in areal linguistics in contrast with Sinosphere.

Richard Keith Sprigg

Richard Keith Sprigg was a British linguist who specialised in the phonology of Asian languages. Sprigg was educated under J. R. Firth and was a member of the first generation of professional British linguists. Also as a consequence Sprigg was an advocate of the prosodic phonological method of Firth. Sprigg worked on several Tibeto-Burman languages including Lepcha, and various Tibetan dialects. He taught for many years at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and retired to Kalimpong, West Bengal, India with his wife Ray, granddaughter of David Macdonald the author of The Land of the Lama and 20 Years in Tibet, until her death.

Languages of Bhutan

There are two dozen languages of Bhutan, all members of the Tibeto-Burman language family except for Nepali, which is an Indo-Aryan language, and Bhutanese Sign Language. Dzongkha, the national language, is the only native language of Bhutan with a literary tradition, though Lepcha and Nepali are literary languages in other countries. Other non-Bhutanese minority languages are also spoken along Bhutan's borders and among the primarily Nepali-speaking Lhotshampa community in South and East Bhutan. Chöke is the language of the traditional literature and learning of the Buddhist monastics.

The Kiranti languages are a major family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in Nepal and India by the Kirati people.

The Sal languages are a branch of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in eastern India, parts of Bangladesh, and Burma.

Bodish, named for the Tibetan ethnonym Bod, is a proposed grouping consisting of the Tibetic languages and associated Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in Tibet, North India, Nepal, Bhutan, and North Pakistan. It has not been demonstrated that all these languages form a clade, characterized by shared innovations, within Sino-Tibetan.

The West Himalayish languages, also known as Almora and Kanauric, are a family of Sino-Tibetan languages centered in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and across the border into Nepal. LaPolla (2003) proposes that the West Himalayish languages may be part of a larger "Rung" group.

The Tamangic languages, TGTM languages, or West Bodish languages, are a family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in the Himalayas of Nepal. They are called "West Bodish" by Bradley (1997), from Bod, the native term for Tibet. TGTM stands for Tamang-Gurung-Thakali-Manang.

Lolo-Burmese languages Sino-Tibetan language group of Southeast Asia

The Lolo-Burmese languages of Burma and Southern China form a coherent branch of the Sino-Tibetan family.

Tibeto-Burman languages Group of the Sino-Tibetan language family

The Tibeto-Burman languages are the non-Sinitic members of the Sino-Tibetan language family, over 400 of which are spoken throughout the highlands of Southeast Asia as well as certain parts of East Asia and South Asia. Around 60 million people speak Tibeto-Burman languages, around half of whom speak Burmese, and 13% of whom speak Tibetic languages. The name derives from the most widely spoken of these languages, namely Burmese and the Tibetic languages . These languages also have extensive literary traditions, dating from the 12th and 7th centuries respectively. Most of the other languages are spoken by much smaller communities, and many of them have not been described in detail.

Proto-Tibeto-Burman is the reconstructed ancestor of the Tibeto-Burman languages, that is, the Sino-Tibetan languages except for Chinese. An initial reconstruction was produced by Paul K. Benedict and since refined by James Matisoff. Several other researchers argue that the Tibeto-Burman languages sans Chinese do not constitute a monophyletic group within Sino-Tibetan, and therefore that Proto-Tibeto-Burman was the same language as Proto-Sino-Tibetan.

ʼOle language Sino-Tibetan language of western Buhtan

ʼOle, also called ʼOlekha or Black Mountain Monpa, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by about 1,000 people in the Black Mountains of Wangdue Phodrang and Trongsa Districts in western Bhutan. The term ʼOle refers to a clan of speakers.

The Luish, Asakian, or Sak languages are a group of Sino-Tibetan languages belonging to the Sal branch. They are spoken in Burma and Bangladesh, and consist of the Sak, Kadu, and Ganan languages. In recent years, Luish languages have been influenced by Burmese and Chakma.

Mruic or Mru–Hkongso is a small group of Sino-Tibetan languages consisting of two poorly attested languages, Mru and Anu-Hkongso. Their relationship within Sino-Tibetan is unclear.

The East Asian languages are a language family proposed by Stanley Starosta in 2001. The proposal has since been adopted by George van Driem.

References

  1. Thurgood, Graham; LaPolla, Randy J. (ed.s) (2003). Sino-Tibetan Languages. London: Routledge. ISBN   0-7007-1129-5.
  2. Benedict, Paul K. (1972). Sino-Tibetan: a Conspectus. Princeton-Cambridge Studies in Chinese Linguistics. Vol. 2. CUP Archive. pp. 4–11.
  3. Matisoff, James A. (1978). Variational semantics in Tibeto-Burman: The "Organic" Approach to Linguistic Comparison. Occasional papers, Wolfenden Society on Tibeto-Burman Linguistics. Vol. 6. Institute for the Study of Human Issues. ISBN   0-915980-85-1.
  4. Matisoff, James A. (2003). Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman: System and Philosophy of Sino-Tibetan Reconstruction. University of California Publications in Linguistics. Vol. 135. University of California Press. pp. 1–9. ISBN   0-520-09843-9.
  5. van Driem, George (2001). Languages of the Himalayas: an Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region: Containing an Introduction to the Symbiotic Theory of Language. Handbuch der Orientalistik. Zweite Abteilung, Indien. Vol. 10. BRILL. ISBN   90-04-10390-2.
  6. Bradley, David (1997). Tibeto-Burman Languages of the Himalayas. Occasional Papers in South-East Asian linguistics. Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. ISBN   0-85883-456-1.

Further reading