Tibetan  
Online Language Courses  
  • ypically classified as member of the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan linguistic family.

  • It is a mildly tonal language using two to four tones depending on dialect. It is described as primarily isolating but agglutinative in some degree.

  • It is spoken by approximately 6 million Tibetan people across the Tibetan Plateau as well as by approximately 150,000 exile speakers.

  • Tibetan is written with a Sanskrit-derived script.

  • By means of agglutination, the Tibetan language has developed a considerable grammatical system of word suffixes and is no longer strictly isolating in structure. Agglomerations of consonants are often met with as initials, giving the appearance of telescoped words -- an appearance which historical etymology often confirms. Many of these initial consonants are silent in the Gtsang dialects, or have been resolved into a simpler one of another character. The language is much ruled by laws of euphony, which have been strictly formulated by native grammarians.

  • Since at least around the 7th century when the Chinese came into contact with the Tibetans, phonetics and grammar of Tibetan have been studied and documented. Tibetans also studied their own language, mostly for translation purpose for diplomacy (with China) or religion (from Buddhism).
     

Online Dictionaries
Other resources
  • Tibetan Dialects Project - Synchronic and diachronic descriptions of Tibetan dialects Comparative studies of Tibetan dialects, language change in Tibetan: from preclassical Tibetan to the modern spoken dialects, classification of Tibetan dialects.
Copyright 2002-2004 Language Directory All Rights Reserved.

The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL

 

 

1