Dzongkha

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Dzongkha
Dzongkha-02.svg
Ethnicity Ngalop people
Native speakers
171,080  (2013)[1]
Second language: 470,000[citation needed]
Dialects
Adap
Tibetan alphabet
Dzongkha Braille
Official status
Official language in
 Bhutan
Regulated by Dzongkha Development Commission
Language codes
ISO 639-1 dz
ISO 639-2 dzo
ISO 639-3 dzoinclusive code
Individual codes:
lya – Laya
luk – Lunana
adp – Adap
Glottolog nucl1307[2]
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Districts of Bhutan in which the Dzongkha language is spoken natively are highlighted in light beige.
Not to be confused with Tsonga.

Dzongkha (རྫོང་ཁ་; Wylie: rdzong-kha, Roman Dzongkha: Dzongkha[3]), occasionally Ngalopkha "language of the Ngalop people" is the national language of Bhutan.[4] The word "dzongkha" means the language (kha) spoken in the dzong "fortresses"—the fortress-like Dzong architecture characteristes monasteries established throughout Bhutan by its unifier, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, in the 17th century.

Classification and related languages[edit]

Linguistically, Dzongkha is a South Tibetic language. It is closely related to and partially intelligible with Sikkimese (Wylie: 'Bras-ljongs-skad), the national language of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim, and to some other Bhutanese languages such as the Chocangaca language, the Brokpa language, the Brokkat language and the Lakha language.

Dzongkha bears a close linguistic relationship to J'umowa spoken in the Chumbi Valley of Southern Tibet and to Sikkimese.[5] It has a much more distant relationship to Standard Tibetan. Although spoken Dzongkha and Tibetan are largely mutually unintelligible, the literary forms of both are both highly influenced by the liturgical (clerical) Classical Tibetan language, known in Bhutan as Chöke, which has been used for centuries by Buddhist monks. Chöke was used as the language of education in Bhutan until the early 1960s when it was replaced by Dzongkha in public schools.[6]

Usage[edit]

Dzongkha and its dialects are the native tongue of eight western districts of Bhutan (viz. Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha, Thimphu, Gasa, Paro, Ha, Dagana and Chukha).[7] There are also some speakers found near the Indian town of Kalimpong, once part of Bhutan but now in West Bengal.

Dzongkha was declared as the national language of Bhutan in 1971.[3] Dzongkha study is mandatory in all schools in Bhutan, and the language is the lingua franca in the districts to the south and east where it is not the mother tongue. The 2003 Bhutanese film Travellers and Magicians is entirely in Dzongkha.

Writing[edit]

Dzongkha is usually written in Bhutanese forms of the Uchen script forms of the Tibetan alphabet known as Gyokyik (Wylie: mgyogs yig) and Gyoktsukma (Wylie: mgyogs tshugs ma).

Romanization[edit]

Roman Dzongkha is the standard romanization of the Dzongkha language. It is a phonological transcription rather than a transliteration of the Dzongkha script. Roman Dzongkha was developed by the linguist George van Driem.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dzongkha at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Laya at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Lunana at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Adap at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Nuclear Dzongkhic". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b c "Guide to Official Dzongkha Romanization" by G. van Driem
  4. ^ "Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Art. 1, § 8" (PDF). Government of Bhutan. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  5. ^ van Driem, George (2007). "Endangered Languages of Bhutan and Sikkim: South Bodish Languages". In Moseley, Christopher. Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 0-7007-1197-X. 
  6. ^ George, Van Driem; Tshering of Gaselô, Karma (1998). Dzongkha. Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region I. Leiden, The Netherlands: Research CNWS, School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies, Leiden University. pp. 7–8. ISBN 90-5789-002-X. 
  7. ^ George, Van Driem; Tshering of Gaselô, Karma (1998). Dzongkha. Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region I. Leiden, The Netherlands: Research CNWS, School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies, Leiden University. p. 3. ISBN 90-5789-002-X. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • van Driem, George (2007). "Endangered Languages of Bhutan and Sikkim: South Bodish Languages". In Moseley, Christopher. Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages. Routledge. pp. 294–295. ISBN 0-7007-1197-X. 
  • 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 90-5789-002-X.  - A language textbook with three audio compact disks.
  • van Driem, George (1992). The Grammar of Dzongkha. Thimphu, Bhutan: RGoB, Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC). 
  • van Driem, George (1991). Guide to Official Dzongkha Romanization. Thimphu, Bhutan: Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC). 
  • van Driem, George (n.d.). The First Linguistic Survey of Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan: Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC). 
  • Dzongkha Development Authority (2005). English-Dzongkha Dictionary (ཨིང་ལིཤ་རྫོང་ཁ་ཤན་སྦྱར་ཚིག་མཛོད།). Thimphu: Dzongkha Development Authority, Ministry of Education. 
  • Imaeda, Yoshiro (1990). Manual of Spoken Dzongkha in Roman Transcription. Thimphu: Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), Bhutan Coordinator Office. 
  • Mazaudon, Martine. 1985. “Dzongkha Number Systems.” S. Ratanakul, D. Thomas & S. Premsirat (eds.). Southeast Asian Linguistic Studies presented to André-G. Haudricourt. Bangkok: Mahidol University. 124-57
  • Mazaudon, Martine & Boyd Michailovsky. 1988. “Lost syllables and tone contour in Dzongkha (Bhutan).” David Bradley, Eugénie J.A. Henderson & Martine Mazaudon (eds.). Prosodic analysis and Asian linguistics: to honour R.K. Sprigg. (Pacific Linguistics, Series C-104). 115-36
  • Mazaudon, Martine & Boyd Michailovsky. 1989. “Syllabicity and suprasegmentals: the Dzongkha monosyllabic noun.” D. Bradley et al. (eds.). Prosodic analysis and Asian linguistics: to honour R.K. Sprigg. Canberra. (Pacific Linguistics). 115-36
  • Michailovsky, Boyd. 1989. “Notes on Dzongkha orthography.” D. Bradley et al. (eds.). Prosodic analysis and Asian linguistics: to honour R.K. Sprigg. Canberra. (Pacific Linguistics). 297-301
  • Tournadre, Nicolas. 1996. “Comparaison des systèmes médiatifs de quatre dialectes tibétains (tibétain central, ladakhi, dzongkha et amdo).” Z. Guentchéva (ed.). L’énonciation médiatisée. Louvain_Paris: Peeters (Bibliothèque de l’Information Grammaticale, 34). 195-214
  • Watters, Stephen A. 1996. A preliminary study of prosody in Dzongkha. Arlington: UT at Arlington, Masters Thesis

Resources for Dzongkha[edit]

Vocabulary[edit]

Grammar[edit]

External links[edit]