Central Tibetan
Ü-Tsang
དབུས་སྐད་, Dbus skad / Ükä
དབུས་གཙང་སྐད་, Dbus-gtsang skad / Ü-tsang kä
The name of the language written in the Tibetan script
Pronunciation[wýkɛʔ, wýʔtsáŋ kɛʔ]
Native toIndia, Nepal, China (Tibet Autonomous Region)
RegionTibet Autonomous Region
Native speakers
(1.2 million cited 1990–2014)[1]
Standard forms
Tibetan script
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
bod – Lhasa Tibetan
dre – Dolpo
hut – Humla, Limi
lhm – Lhomi (Shing Saapa)
muk – Mugom (Mugu)
kte – Nubri
ola – Walungge (Gola)
loy – Lowa/Loke (Mustang)
tcn – Tichurong
Glottologtibe1272  Tibetan
sout3216  South-Western Tibetic (partial match)
basu1243  Basum
ELPWalungge
 Dolpo[2]
 Lhomi[3]
Shingsaba is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger

Central Tibetan, also known as Dbus, Ü or Ü-Tsang, is the most widely spoken Tibetic language and the basis of Standard Tibetan.

Dbus and Ü are forms of the same name. Dbus is a transliteration of the name in Tibetan script, དབུས་, whereas Ü is the pronunciation of the same in Lhasa dialect, [wy˧˥˧ʔ] (or [y˧˥˧ʔ]). That is, in Tibetan, the name is spelled Dbus and pronounced Ü. All of these names are frequently applied specifically to the prestige dialect of Lhasa.

Varieties

Dbus and Gtsang

There are many mutually intelligible Central Tibetan languages besides that of Lhasa, with particular diversity along the border and in Nepal:

Limi (Limirong), Mugum, Dolpo (Dolkha), Mustang (Lowa, Lokä), Humla, Nubri, Lhomi, Dhrogpai Gola, Walungchung Gola (Walungge/Halungge), Tseku
Basum (most divergent, possibly a separate language)

Ethnologue reports that Walungge is highly intelligible with Thudam.

Glottolog reports these South-Western Tibetic languages as forming a separate subgroup of languages within Central Tibetan languages, but that Thudam is not a distinct variety. On the opposite, Glottolog does not classify Basum within Central Tibetan but leaves it unclassified within Tibetic languages.

Tournadre (2013) classifies Tseku with Khams.[4]

Central Tibetan has 70% lexical similarity with Amdo Tibetan and 80% lexical similarity with Khams Tibetan.[5]

Qu & Jing (2017), a comparative survey of Central Tibetan lects, documents the Lhasa 拉萨, Shigatse 日喀则, Gar 噶尔, Sherpa 夏尔巴, Basum 巴松, Gertse 改则, and Nagqu 那曲 varieties.[6]

Ngari Tibetan

Ngari Tibetan, more specifically Stöd Ngari (as opposed to the language of pre-1842 Lower Ngari that is now an independent language), is the endonym for a topolect spoken around Ngari Prefecture, T.A.R. Traditionally, it's considered a divergent variety of Dbusgtsang but not Dbusgtsang proper, however, some Western Khams Tibetan varieties such as Gêrzê Tibetan and Nagqu Tibetan are now considered part of the Ngari Tibetan areal group as well.[7] In Indian-administrated Tibet since the 1846 British invasion of Spiti, a related topolect is now known under exonym "Lahuli and Spiti".

Consonants

IPA Tibetan writing Wade–Giles Tibetan Pinyin
[k] ཀ་ k g
[] ཁ་ ག་ kh, g k
[ŋ] ང་ ng ng
[] ཅ་ c j
[tɕʰ] ཆ་ ཇ་ ch, j q
[ɲ] ཉ་ ny ny
[t] ཏ་ t d
[] ཐ་ ད་ th, d t
[n] ན་ n n
[p] པ་ p b
[] ཕ་ བ་ ph, b p
[m] མ་ m m
[ts] ཙ་ ts z
[tsʰ] ཚ་ ཛ་ tsh, dz c
[w] ཝ་ w w
IPA Tibetan writing Wade–Giles Tibetan Pinyin
[ɕ] ཞ་ ཤ་ zh, sh x
[s] ཟ་ ས་ z, s s
[j] ཡ་ y y
[ɹ] ར་ r r
[l] ལ་ l l
[h] ཧ་ h h
[c] ཀྱ་ gy gy
[] ཁྱ་ གྱ་ ky ky
[] ཀྲ་ kr zh
[tʂʰ] ཁྲ་ གྲ་ khr, gr ch
[ʂ] ཧྲ་ hr sh
[ɬ] ལྷ་ lh lh

Vowels

ཨ(◌)

ཨ། ཨའུ། ཨག།
ཨགས།
ཨང༌།
ཨངས།
ཨབ།
ཨབས།
ཨམ།
ཨམས།
ཨར། ཨལ།
ཨའི།
ཨད།
ཨས།
ཨན།
a au ag ab am ar ai/ä ai/ä ain/än
ཨི།
ཨིལ།
ཨའི།
ཨིའུ།
ཨེའུ།
ཨིག།
ཨིགས།
ཨིང༌།
ཨིངས།
ཨིབ།
ཨིབས།
ཨིམ།
ཨིམས།
ཨིར། ཨིད།
ཨིས།
ཨིན།
i iu ig ib im ir i in
ཨུ། ཨུག།
ཨུགས།
ཨུང༌།
ཨུངས།
ཨུབ།
ཨུབས།
ཨུམ།
ཨུམས།
ཨུར། ཨུལ།
ཨུའི།[VOW 1]
ཨུད།
ཨུས།
ཨུན།
u ug ub um ur ü ü ün
ཨེ།
ཨེལ།
ཨེའི།
ཨེག།
ཨེགས།
ཨེང༌།
ཨེངས།
ཨེབ།
ཨེབས།
ཨེམ།
ཨེམས།
ཨེར། ཨེད།
ཨེས།
ཨེན།
ê êg êŋ êb êm êr ê ên
ཨོ། ཨོག།
ཨོགས།
ཨོང༌།
ཨོངས།
ཨོབ།
ཨོབས།
ཨོམ།
ཨོམས།
ཨོར། ཨོལ།
ཨོའི།
ཨོད།
ཨོས།
ཨོན།
o og ob om or oi/ö oi/ö oin/ön
  1. ^ 特殊

Pronunciation

IPA Wade–Giles Tibetan Pinyin IPA Wade–Giles Tibetan Pinyin
[a] a a
[ɛ] al, a'i ai/ä [ɛ̃] an ain/än
[i] i, il, i'i i [ĩ] in in
[u] u u
[y] ul, u'i ü [ỹ] un ün
[e] e, el, e'i ê [ẽ] en ên
[o] o o
[ø] ol, o'i oi/ö [ø̃] on oin/ön

一"ai, ain, oi, oin" is also written to "ä, än, ö, ön".

Conjunct vowels

IPA Wade–Giles Tibetan Pinyin
[au] a'u au
[iu] i'u, e'u iu

Last consonant

IPA Wade–Giles Tibetan Pinyin
[ʔ] d, s none
[n] n
[k/ʔ] g, gs g
[ŋ] ng, ngs ng
[p] b, bs b
[m] m, ms m
[r] r r

See also

References

  1. ^ Lhasa Tibetan at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Dolpo at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Humla, Limi at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Lhomi (Shing Saapa) at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Mugom (Mugu) at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Nubri at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Endangered Languages Project data for Dolpo.
  3. ^ Endangered Languages Project data for Lhomi.
  4. ^ N. Tournadre (2005) "L'aire linguistique tibétaine et ses divers dialectes." Lalies, 2005, n°25, p. 7–56 [1]
  5. ^ "China". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Nineteenth Edition. 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-09-09.
  6. ^ Qu, Aitang 瞿霭堂; Jing, Song 劲松. 2017. Zangyu Weizang fangyan yanjiu 藏语卫藏方言研究. Beijing: Zhongguo Zangxue chubanshe 中国藏学出版社. ISBN 9787802534230.
  7. ^ 江荻. "西藏的语言多样性及其分类". 中国藏学 (Jun 2022).