•  
  •  
 

Abstract

I begin by offering some highlighting certain aspects of Tibetan language variation with particular attention to the local Gyalthang variety. In the following section I introduce Gyalthang’s touristic Old Town and the language situation there, exploring how the highly divergent nature and mutual unintelligibility of Tibetan language varieties inform stakeholder language attitudes. I place Gyalthang Tibetan into the UNESCO framework for assessing language vitality to explore the interactions of these attitudes and the implications they have for the maintenance of the local Tibetan variety. I conclude with a discussion of what language shift in Gyalthang reveals about language shift in general. The example of Gyalthang’s Old Town complicates the notion of language shift in which one group succumbs to a single dominant homogenous force. What this case illustrates instead is a multilingual situation fraught with issues of socioeconomic and prestige inequalities against a backdrop of urbanization and globalization.

DOI

10.15760/anthos.2014.111

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12598

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.