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Marius Zemp

In A Grammar of Purik Tibetan, Marius Zemp offers a comprehensive description of the phonologically archaic Tibetan variety spoken in Kargil, the capital of a region called Purik, situated in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India. This book contains the most thorough and insightful description of the verbal system of a Tibetic language yet written and will be particularly relevant for scholars studying evidentiality. It also includes highly valuable discussions of a syntactically and pragmatically well-defined class of ideophones which Zemp calls “dramatizers” and of prosody – topics which are too often neglected in language descriptions. Finally, this book goes beyond what others have done in that Purik data are used to elucidate our understanding of Classical Tibetan and its origins.

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Gombozhab T Tsybikov

Tsybikov was the first scholar with a European education to visit Tibet and describe its monasteries and temples as an eyewitness traveler and an objective researcher. Tsybikov had two distinct advantages: an ethnic Buryat he could travel as a Buddhist pilgrim and thus have a chance of reaching its mysterious capital Lhasa, the religious and political center of Tibet, which was barred to outsiders, especially Europeans; as a scholar educated at a European university he had the historical and linguistic background to understand and describe what he saw. Tsybikov understood the secretive nature of the lama state and was careful to hide his work as a researcher. It was his journal that became the basis of A Buddhist Pilgrim at the Shrines of Tibet, which has both the vividness of a traveller’s eyewitness account and the informed detachment of a scholar. As a record of both religious practices and the everyday life in Tibet before Chinese inroads during the twentieth century effaced that way of life, Tsybikov’s book is a unique and invaluable snapshot of a lost culture.

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Gwendolyn Hyslop

A grammar of Kurtöp is the first descriptive grammar of Kurtöp, a threatened language of Bhutan, and the only reference grammar of any East Bodish language. The East Bodish languages are a relatively unstudied branch of the larger Tibeto-Burman family, situated in Bhutan and neighbouring regions in Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh. The chapters introduce the language and the people who speak in a historical context and then go on to detail the synchronic and diachronic phonology, discuss word classes and cause structure, morphosyntax and syntax, and illustrate rich system of evidentiality and related categories. The book will be of interest to Tibeto-Burmanists, historical linguists and those interested in the prehistory of the eastern Himalayas, and to typologists.