Ladakhi

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Ladakhi
ལ་དྭགས་སྐད།, Ladaks Skat
Native to India, China, Pakistan
Region Leh, Baltistan
Native speakers 600,000, all dialects  (1991–1997)
[125,000 Ladakhi (1997), 130,000 Purik (1991), 340,000 Balti (1992)]
Language family
Writing system Tibetan script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
lbj – Ladakhi
zau – Zangskari

Population 102,000 in Jammu and Kashmir (1997). Population includes 29,800 to 33,300 Shamma (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977.328). Population total all countries: 114,000.

Region Maqbuza Kashmir, Ladakh District, 250 villages and hamlets. Also spoken in China. Alternate names Ladaphi, Ladhakhi, Ladak, Ladwags

Dialects Leh (Central Ladakhi), Shamma (Sham, Shamskat, Lower Ladakhi), Nubra Ladakhi. Perhaps 30% to 40% intelligibility of Tibetan. Leh is used as the medium of communication. Leh speakers understand Zangskari and Changthang at more than 90% on recorded text tests. Not known if speakers of all dialects understand Leh well. Leh is in Leh and surrounding areas. Shamma is west of Leh along the Indus Valley and to the south of Khaltse. Nubra is in Nubra Tahsil north of Leh. Lexical similarity 71% to 83% with Purik, 53% to 60% with Tibetan, 84% to 94% among 5 main dialects.

Classification Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Western, Ladakhi Language use All ages. Many speakers in urban areas use Urdu, or English, but rural speakers are mainly monolingual in Ladakhi. Language development Literacy rate in second language: Men: 36%, women: 12% in Urdu, Tibetan, or English (1991). Tibetan script. Grammar. Bible: 1948. Comments Written Ladakhi is distinct from the spoken forms. The dialect of Leh has been acknowledged as standard spoken Ladakhi. It is the medium of Leh radio broadcasts and the standard medium of communication among all Ladakh dialects, including Changthang and Zangskari (Paldan 2002). SOV; postpositions; genitives, relatives before noun heads; articles, adjectives numerals after noun heads; suffixes indicate case of noun phrase; ergative; causatives; comparative; CCVCC or CCCVV maximum; nontonal. Mountain valleys. 2,400 to 5,000 meters. Agriculturalists: wheat, barley; pastoralists: yaks, goats, sheep (cashmere wool); cottage industries: weaving, jewelry making, religious artifact production. Buddhist, Muslim, Christian.

Also spoken in China[change | edit source]

Language name Ladakhi Population 12,000 in China (1995). Region Western Tibet. Alternate names Ladaphi, Ladhakhi, Ladak, Ladwags Dialects Leh (Central Ladakhi), Shamma (Sham, Shamskat, Lower Ladakhi), Nubra Ladakhi. Comments Part of the Tibetan nationality. Mountain valleys. 2,400 to 5,000 meters. Agriculturalists: wheat, barley; pastoralists: yaks, goats, sheep (cashmere wool). Buddhist (Lamaist).