Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region, Volume 6: A Grammar of the Thangmi Language (2 vols)

With an Ethnolinguistic Introduction to the Speakers and Their Culture


This monograph is a grammar of Thangmi, an endangered Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the districts of Dolakha and Sindhupalcok in central-eastern Nepal. The language is spoken by upwards of 30,000 people belonging to an ethnic group of the same name. The Thangmi are one of Nepal’s least documented communities.
These two volumes include a grammatical description of the Dolakha dialect of Thangmi, a collection of glossed oral texts and a comprehensive lexicon with relevant examples. In addition, the reader will find an extensive ethnolinguistic introduction to the speakers and their culture.
For students and scholars of anthropology and linguistics, this study is a compelling illustration of the interweaving of these disciplines in the context of Himalayan studies.
With financial support of the International Institute for Asian Studies (

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Mark Turin, Ph.D. (2006) in Descriptive and Comparative Linguistics, Leiden University, is a linguistic anthropologist. A Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University, Turin directs the Digital Himalaya and World Oral Literature Projects.
'The importance of this excellent description of an endangered Himalayan language is difficult to overstate; the book is a triumph.'
Nathan W. Hill, SOAS, University of London, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 76 (2013)

'The grammar of the Thangmi language is now documented by Mark Turin in a monograph that serves as a true monument to the Thangmi language and culture. Linguists will greatly appreciate Turin’s exemplary linguistic description, but this remarkable book is not merely of interest to those
specialist colleagues. Turin’s expertise combines anthropology and descriptive linguistics, and in this treasure trove of new information on the Thangmi, Turin offers us the best of these two fields. The monograph includes comprehensive discussions of many aspects of Thangmi life and
culture, so that much of this book will appeal to anyone who is interested in the cultural and linguistic diversity of Nepal.(...) Mark Turin’s wide interests and extensive research have resulted in a magnificent grammar that should serve as a compelling model for future descriptive linguists and should be treasured by all those interested in the various linguistic and cultural traditions of Nepal.'
Heleen Plaisier, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 42 (2013)
All those interested in language documentation, ethnolinguistics, South Asian ethnography, and Himalayan studies in general.
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