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Dzongkha, or Bhutanese (རྫོང་ཁ་ [dzoŋkʰa]), is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by over half a million people in Bhutan; it is the sole official and national language of the Kingdom of Bhutan.[4] The Tibetan alphabet
Tibetan alphabet
is used to write Dzongkha. The word dzongkha means "the language of the district"; kha is language, and dzong is "district". District-like Dzong architecture characterises monasteries, established throughout Bhutan
Bhutan
by its unifier, Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in the 17th century. As of 2013, Dzongkha
Dzongkha
had 171,080 native speakers and about 640,000 total speakers.[2]

Contents

1 Usage 2 Writing system

2.1 Romanization

3 Phonology

3.1 Consonants 3.2 Vowels 3.3 Phonotactics

4 Classification and related languages 5 Sample text 6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

9.1 Vocabulary 9.2 Grammar

Usage[edit] Dzongkha
Dzongkha
and its dialects are the native tongue of eight western districts of Bhutan
Bhutan
(viz. Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha, Thimphu, Gasa, Paro, Ha, Dagana and Chukha).[5] There are also some speakers found near the Indian town of Kalimpong, once part of Bhutan
Bhutan
but now in West Bengal. Dzongkha
Dzongkha
was declared as the national language of Bhutan
Bhutan
in 1971.[6] Dzongkha
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 system[edit] Main articles: Tibetan alphabet, Dzongkha
Dzongkha
numerals, and Dzongkha Braille The Tibetan alphabet
Tibetan alphabet
used to write Dzongkha
Dzongkha
has thirty basic letters, sometimes known as "radicals", for consonants. Dzongkha
Dzongkha
is usually written in Bhutanese forms of the Uchen script, forms of the Tibetan alphabet known as Jôyi "cursive longhand" and Jôtshum "formal longhand". The print form is known simply as Tshûm.[7] Romanization[edit] There are various ways of romanization and transliteration systems for Dzongkha, however all possible systems failed to represent the true phonetic sound.[8] While the Dzongkha
Dzongkha
phonetic transliteration is widely used, others include the Library of Congress system, the Wylie transliteration system, the ALA-LC Romanization system and the IPA-based transliteration (Jacques 2012). A phonetic transcription system known as Roman Dzongkha, devised by the linguist George van Driem, was adopted as the standard romanization system of Dzongkha
Dzongkha
by the Bhutanese government in 1991.[6] Phonology[edit] Dzongkha
Dzongkha
is a tone language and has two register tones: high and low.[9] The tone of a syllable determines the allophone of the onset and the phonation type of the nuclear vowel.[10] Consonants[edit]

Consonant
Consonant
phonemes of Dzongkha

Bilabial Dental/ alveolar Retroflex/ palatal Velar Glottal

Nasal m n ɲ ŋ

Stop p  pʰ t  tʰ ʈ  ʈʰ k  kʰ

Affricate

ts  tsʰ tɕ  tɕʰ

Sibilant

s ɕ

Rhotic

r

Continuant

ɬ  l j w h

All consonants may begin a syllable. In the onsets of low tone syllables, consonants are voiced.[10] Aspirated consonants (indicated by the superscript h), /ɬ/, and /h/ are not found in low tone syllables.[10] The rhotic /r/ is usually a trill [r] or a fricative trill [r̝],[9] and is voiceless in the onsets of high tone syllables.[10] /t, tʰ, ts, tsʰ, s/ are dental.[9] Descriptions of the palatal affricates and fricatives vary from alveolo-palatal to plain palatal.[9][11][10] Only a few consonants are found in syllable-final positions. Most common among them are /m, n, p/.[10] Syllable-final /ŋ/ is often elided and results in the preceding vowel nasalized and prolonged, especially word-finally.[12][10] Syllable-final /k/ is most often omitted when word-final as well, unless in formal speech.[10] In literary pronunciation, liquids /r/ and /l/ may also end a syllable.[9] Though rare, /ɕ/ is also found in syllable-final positions.[9][10] No other consonants are found in syllable-final positions. Vowels[edit]

Vowel
Vowel
phonemes of Dzongkha

Front Back

Close i  iː  yː u  uː

Mid e  eː  øː o  oː

Open ɛː ɑ  ɑː

When in low tone, vowels are produced with breathy voice.[9][12] In closed syllables, /i/ varies between [i] and [ɪ], the latter being more common.[9][10] The quality of /yː/ varies between [y] and [ʏ].[9] /e/ varies between close-mid [e] and open-mid [ɛ], the latter being common in closed syllables.[9] /eː/ is close-mid.[9] /eː/ may not be longer than /e/ at all, and /e/ and /eː/ differ more often in quality than in length.[9] Descriptions of the quality of /øː/ vary between close-mid [ø] and open-mid [œ].[9][10] /o/ is close-mid [o], but may approach open-mid [ɔ] especially in closed syllables.[9] /oː/ is close-mid.[9] The quality of /ɛː/ is intermediate between open-mid [ɛ] and near-open [æ].[9] /ɑ/ may approach [ɐ], especially in closed syllables.[9][10] When nasalized or followed by [ŋ], vowels are always long.[12][10]

Phonotactics[edit] Many words in Dzongkha
Dzongkha
are monosyllabic.[10] Syllables usually take the form of CVC, CV, or VC.[10] Syllables with complex onsets are also found, but such an onset must be a combination of an unaspirated bilabial stop and a palatal affricate.[10] The bilabial stops in complex onsets are often omitted in colloquial speech.[10] Classification and related languages[edit] Dzongkha
Dzongkha
is considered a South Tibetic language. It is closely related to and partially intelligible with Sikkimese, and to some other Bhutanese languages such as Chocangaca, Brokpa, Brokkat and Lakha. Dzongkha
Dzongkha
bears a close linguistic relationship to J'umowa, which is spoken in the Chumbi Valley
Chumbi Valley
of Southern Tibet.[13] It has a much more distant relationship to Standard Tibetan. Although spoken Dzongkha
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
Bhutan
as Chöke, which has been used for centuries by Buddhist monks. Chöke was used as the language of education in Bhutan
Bhutan
until the early 1960s when it was replaced by Dzongkha
Dzongkha
in public schools.[14] Although descended from Classical Tibetan, Dzongkha
Dzongkha
shows a great many irregularities in sound changes that make the official spelling and standard pronunciation more distant from each other than is the case with Standard Tibetan. "Traditional orthography and modern phonology are two distinct systems operating by a distinct set of rules."[15] Sample text[edit] The following is a sample text in Dzongkha
Dzongkha
of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Dzongkha
Dzongkha
in the Tibetan alphabet

༄༅། །འགྲོ་བ་མི་རིགས་ག་ར་དབང་ཆ་འདྲ་མཉམ་འབད་སྒྱེཝ་ལས་ག་ར་གིས་གཅིག་གིས་གཅིག་ལུ་སྤུན་ཆའི་དམ་ཚིག་བསྟན་དགོས།

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

See also[edit]

Bhutan
Bhutan
portal Languages portal

Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Braille Dzongkha
Dzongkha
numerals Languages of Bhutan

References[edit]

^ Dzongkha
Dzongkha
at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(18th ed., 2015) Laya at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(18th ed., 2015) Lunana at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(18th ed., 2015) ^ a b "How many people speak Dzongkha?". languagecomparison.com. Retrieved 2018-03-15.  ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nuclear Dzongkhic". Glottolog
Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ "Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Art. 1, § 8" (PDF). Government of Bhutan. 2008-07-18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-01-01.  ^ 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.  ^ a b George van Driem
George van Driem
(1991). Guide to Official Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Romanization (PDF). Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
of The Royal Government of Bhutan.  ^ Driem, George van (1998). Dzongkha
Dzongkha
= Rdoṅ-kha. Leiden: Research School, CNWS. p. 47. ISBN 90-5789-002-X.  ^ See for instance [1] [2] ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q van Driem (1992). ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Downs (2011). ^ Michailovsky & Mazaudon (1988). ^ a b c van Driem (1994). ^ van Driem, George (2007). "Endangered Languages of Bhutan
Bhutan
and Sikkim: South Bodish Languages". In Moseley, Christopher. Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 0-7007-1197-X.  ^ 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.  ^ Driem, George van (1998). Dzongkha
Dzongkha
= Rdoṅ-kha. Leiden: Research School, CNWS. p. 110. ISBN 90-5789-002-X. Traditional orthography and modern phonology are two distinct systems operating by a distinct set of rules. 

Bibliography[edit]

Downs, Cheryl Lynn (2011). "Issues in Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Phonology: An Optimality Theoretic Approach" (PDF). San Diego State University.  Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(2009). Rigpai Lodap: An Intermediate Dzongkha-English Dictionary (འབྲིང་རིམ་རྫོང་ཁ་ཨིང་ལིཤ་ཚིག་མཛོད་རིག་པའི་ལོ་འདབ།) (PDF). Thimphu: Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Commission. ISBN 978-99936-765-3-9.  Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(2009). Kartshok Threngwa: A Book on Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Synonyms & Antonyms (རྫོང་ཁའི་མིང་ཚིག་རྣམ་གྲངས་དང་འགལ་མིང་སྐར་ཚོགས་ཕྲེང་བ།) (PDF). Thimphu: Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Commission. ISBN 99936-663-13-6.  Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(1999). The New Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Grammar (rdzong kha'i brda gzhung gsar pa). Thimphu: Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Commission.  Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(1990). Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Rabsel Lamzang (rdzong kha rab gsal lam bzang). Thimphu: Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Commission.  Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Authority (2005). English- Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Dictionary (ཨིང་ལིཤ་རྫོང་ཁ་ཤན་སྦྱར་ཚིག་མཛོད།). Thimphu: Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Authority, Ministry of Education.  Imaeda, Yoshiro (1990). Manual of Spoken Dzongkha
Dzongkha
in Roman Transcription. Thimphu: Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), Bhutan
Bhutan
Coordinator Office.  Mazaudon, Martine. 1985. “ Dzongkha
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. 1989. “Syllabicity and suprasegmentals: the Dzongkha
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
Dzongkha
orthography.” D. Bradley et al. (eds.). Prosodic analysis and Asian linguistics: to honour R.K. Sprigg. Canberra. (Pacific Linguistics). 297-301 Michailovsky, Boyd; Mazaudon, Martine (1988). "Lost syllables and tone contour in Dzongkha
Dzongkha
(Bhutan)". In Bradley, David; Henderson, Eugénie J.A.; Mazaudon, Martine. Prosodic Analysis and Asian Linguistics: To Honour R.K. Sprigg. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 115–136.  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 van Driem, George (1991). Guide to Official Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Romanization. Thimphu, Bhutan: Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(DDC).  van Driem, George (1992). The Grammar of Dzongkha
Dzongkha
(PDF). Thimphu, Bhutan: RGoB, Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(DDC).  van Driem, George L (1993). Language policy in Bhutan. SOAS, London.  van Driem, George (1994). "The Phonologies of Dzongkha
Dzongkha
and the Bhutanese Liturgical Language" (PDF). Zentralasiatische Studien (24).  van Driem, George (2007). "Endangered Languages of Bhutan
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 (n.d.). The First Linguistic Survey of Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan: Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(DDC).  Watters, Stephen A. 1996. A preliminary study of prosody in Dzongkha. Arlington: UT at Arlington, Masters Thesis 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.

External links[edit]

Dzongkha
Dzongkha
edition of, the free encyclopedia

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dzongkha.

Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
Thimphu, Bhutan Dzongkha-English Dictionary Dzongkha
Dzongkha
podcast Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Romanization for Geographical Names Free textbooks and dictionaries published by the Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Commission Bhutan
Bhutan
National Policy and Strategy for Development and Promotion of Dzongkha Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Unicode
Unicode
- site The National Library of Bhutan
Bhutan
(en - dz)

Vocabulary[edit]

Online searchable dictionary (Dz-En, En-Dz, Dz-Dz) or Online Dzonkha-English Dictionary - site Dzongkha Development Commission
Dzongkha Development Commission
(en - dz) Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Computer Terms(pdf) English- Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Pocket Dictionary(pdf) Rigpai Lodap: An Intermediate Dzongkha-English Dictionary(pdf) Kartshok Threngwa: A Book on Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Synonyms & Antonyms(pdf) Names of Countries and Capitals in Dzongkha(pdf) A Guide to Dzongkha-Translation(pdf)

Grammar[edit]

A colloquial grammar of the Bhutanese language. by Byrne, St. Quintin. Allahabad: Pioneer Press, 1909 Dzongkha
Dzongkha
transliteration - site National Library of Bhutan
Bhutan
(en - dz) Dzongkha, The National Language of Bhutan
Bhutan
- site Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Linux (en - dz) Romanization of Dzongkha Dzongkha : Origin and Description Dzongkha
Dzongkha
language, alphabet and pronunciation Dzongkha
Dzongkha
in: Русский, Français, 日本語, Eesti, English Pioneering Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Text To Speech Synthesis(pdf) Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Grammar & other materials - site The Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Development Commission (en - dz) Коряков Ю.Б. Практическая транскрипция для языка дзонг-кэ Guide to Official Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Romanization - by Dr. George van Driem(pdf) Classical Tibetan- Dzongkha
Dzongkha
Dictionary(pdf)

v t e

Languages of Bhutan

Sino-Tibetan

Bodish

Tibetic

Dzongkha

Ngalong Laya

Brokkat Brokpa Chocangacakha Khams Tibetan Lakha Sikkimese

East Bodish

Bumthang

Kheng Kurtöp Nupbikha

Chali Dakpa Dzala Nyenkha

Tshangla (Sharchop)

Gurung Kiranti

including Chamling Limbu

Lepcha Newar Tamang

Unclassified

Gongduk Lhokpu 'Ole

Indo-Aryan

Nepali

Isolate

Bhutanese Sign Language

v t e

Bodic (Tibeto-Kanauri) languages

Bodish

Tibetic

Central

Central Tibetan Standard Tibetan
Standard Tibetan
(Old, Classical) Mugom Basum

Amdo

Amdo Tibetan Choni

Kham-Hor

Khams Tibetan Tseku Khamba

Western

Ladakhi Purgi Zangskari Balti Lahuli–Spiti

Southern

Groma Sikkimese Sherpa Jirel Dzongkha Brokkat Brokpa Chocangaca Lakha Naapa Laya Lunana

Mixed

Baima Dao

Unclassified

Kyirong-Kagate (Yolmo) Zhongu Khalong Dongwang Gserpa Zitsadegu Drugchu

East Bodish

Dakpa Tawang Dzala Nyen Chali Bumthang Kheng Kurtöp Nupbi

Tshangla

West Himalayish

Kinnauri Sunam Jangshung Shumcho Pattani Tinan Gahri Kanashi Rangpo Darma Byangsi Chaudangsi Rangkas Zhangzhung

Tamangic

Tamang Gurung Thakali Manang Gyasumdo Nar Phu Chantyal

.