Newly recognised languages in Chamdo
Geography, culture, history, and language
This article presents information regarding newly recognised non-Tibetic Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in three counties, Dzogang, Markham, and Drag-yab, of Chamdo Municipality and the adjacent Dzayul County in the Tibet Autonomous Region. First, we introduce four languages – Lamo, Larong sMar, Drag-yab sMar, and gSerkhu – identifying the location of each language on the Chinese administrative map as well as the numbers of speakers of the languages. Second, we provide a brief historical background on these languages, which suggests a relationship between them and Qiangic groups. Third, we display lexical evidence that shows not only their non-Tibetic features but also their closeness to Qiangic languages. Finally, the article focuses on Lamo, an endangered language spoken in Dzogang County, and provides a linguistic analysis of an annotated Lamo historical narrative in the Appendix.