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Bordering Tibetan Languages

Making and Marking Languages in Transnational High Asia

218 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Bordering Tibetan Languages: Making and Marking Languages in Transnational High Asia examines the complex interactions between state, ethnic, and linguistic borders in the Himalayas. These case studies from Bhutan, China, India, and Nepal show how people in the Himalayas talk borders into existence, and also how those borders speak to them and their identities. These ‘talking borders’ exist in a world where state borders are contested, and which is being irrevocably transformed by rapid social and economic change. This book offers a new perspective on this dynamic region by centring language, and in doing so, also offers new ways of thinking about how borders and language influence each other.
Author Bio
Gerald Roche is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Politics, Media, and Philosophy at La Trobe University (Australia). He is an international expert in language revitalization and the politics of language in Tibet and the Himalayas. Gwendolyn Hyslop received her PhD from the University of Oregon and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. She is a specialist of Tibeto Burman languages, in particular those from Bhutan. She has written a grammar of Kurtöp and also specializes in Historical Linguistics. Willem van Schendel, Professor of History, University of Amsterdam and International Institute of Social History, the Netherlands. He works with the history, anthropology and sociology of Asia. Recent works include A History of Bangladesh (2020), Embedding Agricultural Commodities (2017, ed.), The Camera as Witness (2015, with J. L. K. Pachuau). See uva.academia.edu/WillemVanSchendel. Cathryn Donohue (PhD, Stanford University) is a field linguist specializing in Sino-Tibetan, with a primary focus on Himalayan languages. Her linguistic interests center on morphosyntax, tonal phenomena, and language variation, including documentary and outreach components. She is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Charisma K. Lepcha teaches anthropology at Sikkim University, India. Her research interests include religion, identity, indigeneity, and linguistic anthropology in the eastern Himalaya borderlands. She was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla (2018-2019). She was also a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Cambridge, MA (2021-2022). Dirk Schmidt graduated with an MA in Tibetan Studies in 2008. He then went to India to learn Tibetan. He has worked with Esukhia since 2011 on a variety of research and development projects related to Tibetan language education, children’s literature, and translation technology. Dirk is currently a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hiroyuki Suzuki holds a D.Litt. in linguistics from Kyoto University (2007) and is currently a part-time lecturer teaching the Chinese language at Kyoto University, Japan. His principal research interests are descriptive linguistics, geolinguistics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics of languages in the Tibetosphere. Shannon M. Ward is an Assistant Professor of Linguistic Anthropology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada. Her research examines language socialization, multilingualism, and heritage language learning, with a focus on communities from the Himalayas.