The approximately 250 languages of the Tibeto-Burman family are spoken by 65 million speakers in ten different countries including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and China/Tibet. They are characterized by a fascinating linguistic, historical and cultural diversity. The languages spoken in the Himalayas, on their southern slopes and on the high Tibetan plateau in the north constitute the core of this diversity. Thus, the 21 papers mainly deal with these languages and some go even beyond to the area of the Blue Lake in northern Amdo and to southern Kham within linguistic Tibet. The ten papers dedicated to Tibetan linguistic studies offer approaches to the phonological analysis of Balti, to labial place assimilation, perfective stem renovation and stem alternation connected with verbal valence in Amdo Tibetan, to directional markers in Tokpe Gola in northeastern Nepal, to secondary verb constructions in Kham Tibetan, to narrative texts in Dzongkha, to case-marking patterns in various Tibetan dialects and to language history of Tibetan in general. Other papers deal with deictic patterns and narratives in western Himalayan Kinnauri and with the classification of neighbouring Bunan. With the Tamangic languages of northern Nepal the relationship between vowels and consonants and the development of demonstratives and plural markers are addressed. A further paper investigates the genetic relationship between Dzala and Dakpa, two East Bodish languages, and another one case-marking in Rabha and Manipuri in northeastern India. With the Kiranti languages Sampang, Limbu, Chaurasia and Sunwar in eastern Nepal, questionsof accent, pronominally marked determiners, subclassification and language shift are discussed. The impressive selection of languages and linguistic topics dealt with in this book underlines the diversity of the Tibeto-Burman languages in Central and South Asia and highlights their place within present-day linguistic research.The results achieved by leading experts are remarkable in general, and the book is of interest to linguists, anthropologists and geographers.
Roland Bielmeier and Felix Haller, University of Bern, Switzerland.