East Bodish
EthnicityMonpa people etc.
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan

The East Bodish languages are a small group of non-Tibetic Bodish languages spoken in eastern Bhutan and adjacent areas of Tibet and India. They include:

George van Driem initially proposed that 'Ole belonged to the group, but later decided that it belonged to a group of its own.[1]

Although the East Bodish languages are closely related, Tshangla and related languages of eastern Bhutan, also called "Monpa" and predating Dzongkha, form a sister branch not to the East Bodish group, but to its parent Bodish branch.[2][3] Thus the ambiguous term "Monpa" risks separating languages that should be grouped together, whereas grouping languages together that are quite distinct.[4] Zakhring is apparently also related, though strongly influenced by Miju or a similar language.[5]

Internal classification

Languages of Bhutan, including the East Bodish languages
Languages of Bhutan, including the East Bodish languages

Hyslop (2010)[6] classifies the East Bodish languages as follows.

East Bodish

She regards the Dakpa–Dzala and Bumthangic subgroups as secure, and the placement of Phobjip and Chali as more tentative.[7]

Lu (2002) divides the "Menba language" (门巴语) into the following subdivisions:[8]


Hyslop (2014)[9] reconstructs the following Proto-East Bodish forms.

Additional reconstructions can be found in Hyslop (2016).[10]


  1. ^ van Driem, George (2011). "Tibeto-Burman subgroups and historical grammar". Himalayan Linguistics Journal. 10 (1): 31–39.
  2. ^ van Driem, George L. (1994). "Language Policy in Bhutan" (PDF). Bhutan: aspects of culture and development. Kiscadale. pp. 87–105. ISBN 978-1-87083-817-7.
  3. ^ van Driem, George (2001). Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region. Brill. p. 915. ISBN 978-90-04-12062-4.
  4. ^ Andvik, Eric E. (2009). A Grammar of Tshangla. Tibetan Studies Library. Vol. 10. Brill. pp. 4–7. ISBN 978-90-04-17827-4.
  5. ^ Blench, Roger; Post, Mark (2011), (De)classifying Arunachal languages: Reconstructing the evidence (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-26
  6. ^ Hyslop, Gwendolyn. 2010. On the internal phylogeny of East Bodish. Paper presented at the 5th NEILS meeting, Gauhati University 12–14 February 2010.
  7. ^ Hyslop, Gwendolyn (2013). "On the internal phylogeny of East Bodish". In Hyslop, Gwendolyn; Morey, Stephen; Post, Mark W. (eds.). North East Indian Linguistics. Vol. 5. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India. pp. 91–112. ISBN 978-93-82264-72-9.
  8. ^ Lu, Shaozun 陆绍尊 (2002). 门巴语方言研究 [A study of Menba (Monpa) dialects] (in Chinese). Beijing: Ethnic Publishing House 民族出版社.
  9. ^ Hyslop, Gwendolyn (2014). "A preliminary reconstruction of East Bodish". In Owen-Smith, Thomas; Hill, Nathan W. (eds.). Trans-Himalayan Linguistics: Historical and Descriptive Linguistics of the Himalayan Area. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 155–179. ISBN 978-3-11-031074-0.
  10. ^ Hyslop, Gwendolyn. 2016. East Bodish reconstructions in a comparative light. Fourth Workshop on Sino-Tibetan Languages of Southwest China (STLS-2016). University of Washington, Seattle, September 8–10, 2016.