Publication details [#62606]

Roche, Gerald. 2017. Introduction: the transformation of Tibet’s language ecology in the twenty-first century. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 2017 (245) : 1–36.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
De Gruyter


Employing a “language ecology” approach, this paper explores the mechanisms that have generated and preserved Tibet’s linguistic diversity, as well as the ways this diversity was spatially and socially patterned. It is asserted that these processes and patterns were mainly preserved up until the twenty-first century, when the Chinese state’s program to “Open the West” unchained an ideologically driven modernization program on Tibet, radically changing its language ecology. The current trends arising from this process are likely to carry on throughout the twenty-first century, ending in both language loss and the apparition of new languages, leaving the overall language ecology radically changed by the beginning of the twenty-second century.