East Bodish languages

East Bodish
Ethnicity: Monpa people etc.
Linguistic classification:


Glottolog: east1469

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

Hyslop (2010) 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.[6]

Lu (2002) divides the "Menba language" (门巴语) into the following subdivisions.[7] The southern dialect is most likely Tawang Monpa.


  1. van Driem, George L. (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. 10. Brill. pp. 4–7. ISBN 90-04-17827-9.
  5. Blench, Roger; Post, Mark (2011), (De)classifying Arunachal languages: Reconstructing the evidence (PDF)
  6. Hyslop, Gwendolyn (2013). "On the internal phylogeny of East Bodish". In Hyslop, Gwendolyn; Morey, Stephen; Post, Mark W. North East Indian Linguistics. 5. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India. pp. 91–112. ISBN 978-93-82264-72-9.
  7. 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.
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