Linguistics of the Himalayas and Beyond

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Roland Bielmeier, Felix Haller
Walter de Gruyter, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 442 pages
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The approximately 250 languages of the Tibeto-Burman family are spoken by 65 million speakers in ten different countries including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and China/Tibet. They are characterized by a fascinating linguistic, historical and cultural diversity. The languages spoken in the Himalayas, on their southern slopes and on the high Tibetan plateau in the north constitute the core of this diversity. Thus, the 21 papers mainly deal with these languages and some go even beyond to the area of the Blue Lake in northern Amdo and to southern Kham within linguistic Tibet.

The ten papers dedicated to Tibetan linguistic studies offer approaches to the phonological analysis of Balti, to labial place assimilation, perfective stem renovation and stem alternation connected with verbal valence in Amdo Tibetan, to directional markers in Tokpe Gola in northeastern Nepal, to secondary verb constructions in Kham Tibetan, to narrative texts in Dzongkha, to case-marking patterns in various Tibetan dialects and to language history of Tibetan in general. Other papers deal with deictic patterns and narratives in western Himalayan Kinnauri and with the classification of neighbouring Bunan. With the Tamangic languages of northern Nepal the relationship between vowels and consonants and the development of demonstratives and plural markers are addressed. A further paper investigates the genetic relationship between Dzala and Dakpa, two East Bodish languages, and another one case-marking in Rabha and Manipuri in northeastern India. With the Kiranti languages Sampang, Limbu, Chaurasia and Sunwar in eastern Nepal, questionsof accent, pronominally marked determiners, subclassification and language shift are discussed.

The impressive selection of languages and linguistic topics dealt with in this book underlines the diversity of the Tibeto-Burman languages in Central and South Asia and highlights their place within present-day linguistic research.The results achieved by leading experts are remarkable in general, and the book is of interest to linguists, anthropologists and geographers.


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Directionals in Tokpe Gola Tibetan discourse
The language history of Tibetan
Dzala and Dakpa form a coherent subgroup within East Bodish
Stem alternation and verbal valence in Themchen Tibetan
Grammatical peculiarities of two dialects of southern Kham Tibetan
Phonetic realisation
Pronominally marked noun determiners in Limbu
About Chaurasia
The status of Bunan in the TibetoBurman family
Tibetan orthography the Balti dialect and a contemporary
Perfective stem renovation in Khalong Tibetan
On the deictic patterns in Kinnauri Pangi dialect
Tibetan grammar and the activestative casemarking type
Evidence from deixis
A field report
Subject index

Implications of labial place assimilation in Amdo Tibetan
Context shift and linguistic coding in Kinnauri narratives

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About the author (2007)

Roland Bielmeier and Felix Haller, University of Bern, Switzerland.

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