|Black Mountain Monpa|
'Ole, also called 'Olekha or Black Mountain Monpa, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by about 1000 people in the Black Mountains of Wangdue Phodrang and Trongsa Districts in western Bhutan. The term 'Ole refers to a clan of speakers.
'Ole was unknown beyond its immediate area until 1990, and is now highly endangered, and was originally assumed to be East Bodish. George van Driem described 'Ole as a remnant of the primordial population of the Black Mountains before the southward expansion of the ancient East Bodish tribes. More recently, Gwendolyn Hyslop, with the agreement of van Driem, has suggested that 'Ole is an isolated Sino-Tibetan language heavily influenced by East Bodish. Because of its small amount of cognates with East Bodish languages, Blench and Post provisionally treat 'Ole as an isolate
The distantly related Tshangla language of eastern Bhutan, also called "Monpa" and predating Dzongkha, also belongs to the Sino-Tibetan languages. Although 'Ole is most closely related to the Bumthang language, both being East Bodish languages, Tshangla and related languages form a sister branch not to the East Bodish group, but to its parent Bodish branch. Thus the ambiguous term "Monpa" risks separating languages that should be grouped together, while grouping languages together that are quite separate.
- ’Ole at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Olekha". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
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- van Driem, George L; Karma Tshering of Gaselô (collab) (1998). Dzongkha. Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region. Leiden: Research School CNWS, School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies. ISBN 905789002X.
- van Driem, George (2001). Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region: Containing an Introduction to the Symbiotic Theory of Language. Brill. ISBN 9004120629.
- van Driem, George (2007). "Endangered Languages of Bhutan and Sikkim: East Bodish Languages". In Moseley, Christopher. Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages. Routledge. p. 295. ISBN 070071197X.