Tibetan (London Oriental and African Language Library)


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Colloquial Burmese provides a step-by-step course in Burmese as it is written and spoken today Born in as British troops were preparing to invade his homeland, Gendun Chopel was identified at any early age as the incarnation of a famous lama and became a Buddhist monk, excelling in the debating courtyards In a culture where poetry is considered the highest form of human language, Gendun Chopel is revered Once the rulers of the largest land empire that has ever existed on earth, the historical Mongols of Chinggis Khan left a linguistic heritage which today survives in the form of more than a dozen different languages, collectively termed Mongolic.

For general linguistic theory, the Mongolic languages offer interesting insights to problems of areal Once the rulers of the largest land empire that has ever existed on earth, the historical Mongols of This book is based on the Khapalu and Skardu dialects of Balti, a member of the Tibeto-Burman family, spoken in Baltistan. The work is distinguished by its phonetic acuity, particularly important in the case of Balti, whose importance to the Tibeto-Burman and Sino-Tibetan comparatists is its close phonetic relationship to the Tibetan script.

Colloquial Tibetan provides a step-by-step course in Central Tibetan as it is spoken by native speakers. Combining a thorough treatment of the language as it is used in everyday situations with an accurate written representation of this spoken form, it equips learners with the essential skills needed to communicate confidently and effectively in Colloquial Tibetan provides a step-by-step course in Central Tibetan as it is spoken by native This rendering of the Sugata Saurabha, in a long line of accounts of the Buddha's life dating back almost 2, years, may be the last ever to be produced that conforms to the traditions of Indic classic poetry.

It will not only appeal to scholars of Buddhism but will find use in courses that introduce students to the life of the Buddha. This rendering of the Sugata Saurabha, in a long line of accounts of the Buddha's life dating back Wie Mehrsprachigkeit in der Schulklasse kreativ genutzt werden kann, dazu liefert das Buch Toggle navigation. New to eBooks. Browse Sino-Tibetan languages Subcategories. Filter Results. Last 30 days. Last 90 days. All time. English Only.

Tibetan Philip Denwood. Add to Cart Add to Cart. Add to Wishlist Add to Wishlist. Oetke discusses the use of vgyur , byed , and yin as auxiliary verbs, in particular with reference to conditional clauses in Buddhist literature. He suggests that the main distinction is one of 'control' versus 'non-control'. His seems to be the earliest discussion of this important distinction in any variety of Tibetan.

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Sato discusses ergativity in Classical Tibetan. On the same topic is the disastrous article by Saxena which must be read together with the response to it by Dempsey Nagano discusses two examples one from Old TIbetan and one from Classical where he believes the suffix -kyis marks the patient of a transitive clause. He has another paper about this too somewhere. Hoffmann has a nice discussion of -gis as a converbial marker. He finds that it marks the future, primarily of first persons, whether singular or plural.

Roesler discusses the grammar of the Dpe chos of Po-to-ba Rin-chen-gsal. Hoshi discusses existential verbs in the Rgyal rabs gsal ba'i me long. Pre-modern dictionaries including Manchu-Tibetan, and Sanskrit-Tibetan dictionaries have been excluded.

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Domenico da Fano , compiled between and Because this dictionary reportedly carries indication of pronunciation it could be of significant interest for Tibetan historical phonology. A Tibetan Italian dictionary was compiled by F. Francesco Orazio della Penna , a student of da Fano.

The text of this work was translated into English and considerably mangled. The English version became the first published Tibetan dictionary Schroeter but the original remains unpublished. Schmidt also prepared a Tibetan-Russian dictionary, which however I have not examined. A biography of Schmidt is provided in Babingen Tibetan script equivalents given for each entry, and differences of dialect are reported; information on verb syntax or stem variation occasionally reported. This dictionary was intended for practical use in the colloquial language. This is the first Tibetan dictionary of real caliber, and indeed as a work of lexicography is unrivaled to this day.

In the history of Tibetan lexicography special place must be afforded to the word of Chos kyi grags pa This is the first indigenous Tibetan dictionary although the author was actually ethnically a Mongolian to be organized alphabetically. Chos kyi grags pa received the aid of Dge 'dun chos 'phel in compiling the work. Until recently this was used very widely be Tibetan as well as Western scholars. A number of lexeme from this dictionary are discussed in Wilhelm, F. Gould and Richardson produced an interesting lexical resource. In a series which included Tibetan Verbs, and Tibetan Sentences.

Each of syllables is numbered. Compound words are listed under each heading, and crossreferenced to each of their members. A phonetic transcription is given. Intransiive and transitive verbs are marked, as well as honorifics and high honorifics. A real contribution to Tibetan etymology and word analysis which has not be properly followed up on. For a similar work see Tshe dbang rnam rgyal [] A number of dictionaries can be mentioned all of which serve more or less the same function and are of roughly equal quality, i.

The luminous figure of early twentieth century Tibetology, George Nicholas de Roerich, left a long manuscript Tibetan-English dictionary as part of his Nachlass. It was edited and translated into Russian to form a twenty volume Tibetan-English and Russian dictionary.


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The size of the work and erudition of its author recommend it. Unfortunately not citing any sources it is not a methodological improvement on its peers, and is now rather difficult to obtain. A number of other Tibetan-Tibetan or Tibetan-Chinese dictionaries were published in Tibet during the fifities, unfortunately they have all so far evaded me and it seems unproductive to share the inadaquet bibliographic scrapes which I have managed to collect. A Tibetan-Tibetan dictionary of lasting importance is Tsan chung This is an excellent dictionary, with carefully written definitions. The cross references are excellent, and the handling of verbs is more sophisticated and reliable than in most dictionaries.

Its relatively small size means that obscure words are not to be found, though it does have a strength in colloquial words and eastern dialect words. The examples appear to have been invented by the authors. While not a contribution to the scientific description of the Tibetan language, for a dictionary of its nature and size it is the best that can be achieved. Western students of Tibetan who do not yet know most basic vocabulary and are making the transition from using bilingual to monolingual dictionaries will find a particular asset in this work. It has been unfortunateley somewhat upstaged by its larger but less carefully edited sucessor, to be treated in the next paragraph.

The dictionary which has become the current unrivaled standard is that of Zhang It is certainly a very large and useful work, but its merit is somewhat overrated. The definitions are so laconic as to sometimes be unintelligible, in particular words close in meaning are poorly differentiated.

As usual, the compilers do not cite their examples or provide information on their sources. They have also haphazardly included geographical and biographical information properly outside the scope of a dictionary. This work has been the subject of an translation into English Skorupski though so far only until the letter nya, and supplement of more recent words has been compiled by Hackett The handling of tshad ma terminology in Zhang has been criticized by Bkra shis bzang po The verb entries have been excerpted and published separately as Li yung khrang Hackett a is a dictionary of verb stems and verbal collocations with lexical semantic information and paradigm example sentences taken from classical literature using techniques of corpus linguistics.

Hill is a dictionary of verb stems collected from previous sources. Hill b provides an overview of Old Tibetan synchronic phonology. Contributions to particular issues in Old Tibetan phonology include Beckwith , Che , , Dragunov , , and Hill b, , , A newly discovered source for Tibetan historical phonology is a collection of Dunhuang texts which are the transcripts of oral teachings, and give information about the pronunciation of Tibetan in medieval Dunhuang van Schaik Nancy Caplow has reconstructed stress for proto-Tibetan Caplow Temple explores the conditioning of palatalization in Old Tibetan.

Hill a treats changes in the inflection of the verb for 'to write', Jacques extends the same argument to a further group of verbs. Hill a discusses the case marker -las after verbal nouns. Hill b discusses case grammar. Jacques speculates about the history of verbal morphology. To date only one work has been published which can be properly called a dictionary of Old Tibetan, this being Btsan lha ngag dbang tshul khrims This work carefully quotes and cites its sources, however not specifically enough to afford confirmation.

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Citations have been culled from Dunhuang texts as well as the Bdra gsar rnying, and commentarial literature. Thus it exceeds the scope of Old Tibetan per se, but this only adds to its utility. Despite the very high quality of this work, which exceeds that of most scholarship emmiting from the PRC, in my view a comprehensive dictionary-cum-thesaurus of Old Tibetan texts making specific citations is a remaining desideratum of both Tibetan and Tibeto-Burman studies.

Although not dictionaries as such the glossaries of Li and Coblin , Richardson , and F. Thomas should be mentioned as lexicographical resources for Old Tibetan. Although the last is now quite outdated. A number of Old Tibetan texts have been fully indexed, though without any definitions or commentary in Choix 3 and 4, and in Takeuchi , and Although, Takeuchi does contain a short glossary of terms, and a variety of invaluable lexicographical data and discussion throughout. There is an indigenous tradition of providing glossaries of Old Tibetan words and phrases in Classical Tibetan, such works are extensively employed by Btsan lha ngag dbang tshul khrims , Mimaki has made two studies of one of the earliest by Dbu pa blo gsal Mimaki , An overview of this literature in general is provided in an article by Manfred Taube.

In the later part of the 20th century one of the most active figures in Tibetan lexicography has been Melvyn C. His work is especially strong in political and military terminology. His first dictionary was published in It is very positively reviewed by Wylie Goldstein later compiled an English-Tibetan dictionary. In he published a dictionary which is ostensibly a new edition dictionary though many times its size. Although ostensibly centered around the language of contemporary news and literature, because the work incorporates other dictionaries more or less in totol, this work even contains Old Tibetan vocabulary.

As the first place to turn for a word it has its place. Although this work is useful for reading texts, especially modern, because of its large vocabulary, it fails to contribute to scientific lexicography. Hackett edited and oversaw the compiling of a dictionary of neologisms compiled from PRC newspapers. This dictionary contains words not already in Zhang , and is intended to serve as a supplement to it.

Inevitably this research focused on the languages of border regions either in the far West or East. Subsequent work on spoken Tibetan languages has focused above all on Lhasa dialect, the 'lingua franca' of Central Tibet and the Tibetan exile community. These three forms of language are often confused in the literature. Recent work on a number of other dialects has filled out the picture. Bonnerjea offers a pioneering contribution in the comparative phonology of Tibetic languages.

His efforts at comparative morphology, entirely constrained by the straight-jacket of Latinate terminology, is however disappointing Bonnerjea This massive project, headed for many years by Roland Bielmeier, is documenting the exact phonetic realisation of Tibetan-derived vocabulary in dozens of Tibetan languages in five countries. Wang Yao treats the phonetic evolution of the word zla-ba 'moon', and the phonetic evolution of zl- more generally, in several dialects. In the same year, Denwood treated the same set of questions. Jacques b has an article showing that what has been argued to be an archaism in the Western Tibetan vowel system is in fact an innovation.

Grammars of Ladakhi include Francke [] , Koshal , , Norman Tournadre and Zeisler treat specific topics in Ladakhi grammar. Sandberg includes a long vocabulary of Ladakhi words. Rebecca Norman is compiling a Ladakhi dictionary which will exceed all previous efforts in scope. Works dealing with social linguistics include Zeisler Works that I have to read before evaluating include Dey and Koshal Because many researchers do not rigorously distinguish the speech of the city of Lhasa per se from other forms of speech dubbed 'Lhasa Tibetan' it is convenient to treat Lhasa dialect together with the other dialects of Central Tibet which have been referred to as 'Lhasa' or generically as 'Central' Tibetan.

In addition the lingua franca of the Tibetan exile often all called 'Lhasa' Tibetan is covered in this section. A number of works treat 'Central Tibetan' without referring more specifically to dialect. Grammars of 'Central Tibetan include Sandberg , and Roerich and Phuntshok both of which include fairly extensive vocabularies. Early handbooks include Lewin , Sandberg , and Henderson , Bell A good discussion of the previous literature is in Haller's Shigatse grammar, which would almost be worth just translating here.


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    Hoshi is a colloquial Tibetan-Japanese verb dictionary. Kitamura and Nagano is a Tibetan Japanese dictionary which I have not yet seen. Kitamura has a short grammar. Hoshi M. There is a longer grammar in Chinese by Wang Zhijing A Tibetan to Chinese dictionary of Lhasa dialect which i also haven't seen is yu et al. The phonology of Lhasa dialect, in particular the analysis of tone has been rather controversial.

    Sprigg , , The retention and over-application of -bC- word internally has been studied by Chang and Chang and Shirai Pao et al. Tang and Kong discuss vowels, vowel length and tone. He suffers from the Chinese obssesion of giving the "same" sentence in several dialects. Zhou Li teaches how to read Tibetan script in the pronunciation of Lhasa.

    His description of phonology closely matches that of Tournadre, with a more detailed treatment of tone and tone sandhi. Dawson wrote a PhD thesis on Lhasa phonology in keeping with the tradition of Goldstein and Nornang.

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    She has also written a related paper on Lhasa vowels Robin and Vittrant treat reduplication in Lhasa dialect. Hu Tan discusses nominalization. Agha , reviewed by Hongladarom , who points out that he omits mention of yod-pa-red. Researchers into Lhasa Tibetan evidentiality divide into three groups: 1. These three approaches broadly correspond with chronologically distinct stages in research on Tibetan evidentiality and reflect an overarching movement away from a prior commitments to person and toward characterizations that are both structurally verifiable and motivated by usage in discourse.

    However, there are striking exceptions to the chronological pattern.

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    The vanguard includes Yukawa Yasutoshi, a proponent of the third approach already in Although a useful heuristic, the division of researchers among these three groups is somewhat arbitrary. No researcher unambiguously equates the Lhasa system with person agreement of the Indo-European type, to do so would be foolish. Concomitantly, until recently few researchers vehemently disavowed grammatical person. Since, as de Saussure teaches, the relationship between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary, it would be meaningless to attempt to adjudicate among these terms.

    No single rubric will ever capture the subtitles of the Lhasa Tibetan evidential system. Early pedagogical grammars of spoken Lhasa or Central Tibetan attempt to describe the language's three evidential categories as person agreement. Authors themselves acknowledge the imperfect fit. Nonetheless, when writing about the use of the relevant forms as existential verbs rather than as tense suffixes, he also draws attention to the importance of evidence.

    He writes that as. Unfortunately, Bell's observations on the evidential meanings of the existential verbs languished for some time. Unlike Bell, they distinguish the latter in terms of certainty 18 rather than evidence. Thus, altogether early pedagogical grammars never abandoned the attempt to characterize the Lhasa Tibetan verbal system in terms of person agreement, through time the importance of information source gradually emerged. A ramification of the early pedagogical treatments' identification of the Lhasa personal evidential category with first person agreement is the bifurcation of the three term Lhasa system into a two way opposition of personal associated with first person versus factual and testimonial taken together both associated with both first and third person.

    Such a tack precipitates the need to subsequently bifurcate factual and testimonial without recourse to person agreement. Whether out of deference to this pedagogical heritage or under the influence of a Jakobsonian penchant for binary features, many of the linguists who studied the Lhasa Tibetan verbal system in the latter part of the 20th century upheld this analysis of double bifurcation. Independently of Takeuchi and of each other, in a further three scholars describe the three Lhasa Tibetan evidential categories in terms of two binary contrasts.

    Scott DeLancey distinguishes 'conjunct' personal and 'disjunct', dividing the disjunct into 'mirative' testimonial and 'non-mirative' factual This machinery allows him to explain the use of the relevant morphemes in a wide array of contexts, but using a descriptive apparatus of 16 possible settings to account for three paradigmatically contrasting categories is excessive.

    The 21st century appears to offer no new adherents to the binary feature approach. He followed this study with overall treatments of Tibetan predicates in and Yukawa's approach is to treat each morphological suffix in turn in all of the syntactic positions in which it occurs. In some cases erstwhile adherents of the person agreement or binary features approaches later realize the wisdom of following the three-way morphosyntactic contrast as a guide to describing contrasting evidential functions.

    For Hongladarom, a mere year sufficed for her to realize the mistake of her earlier adherence to DeLancey's 'conjunct-disjunct' model. She succinctly describes. Schwieger explicitly rejects the association of these evidential categories with agreement.

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