Lamo (also called mBo; IPA: mbo˥; ’Bo skad) is an unclassified Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Tshawarong, Zogang County, Chamdo Prefecture, Tibet. It was recently documented by Suzuki & Nyima (2016). sMad skad, a closely related language variety, is also spoken in Tshawarong.
|Region||Zogang County, Chamdo Prefecture, Tibet|
Suzuki & Nyima (2018) document the Kyilwa 格瓦 variety of Dongba Township 东坝乡.
Khams Tibetan people refer to Lamo speakers as mBo or mBo mi (’bo mi). Traditionally, Lamo speakers also referred to themselves as Po mi, although this autonym is not known by all Lamo speakers. They refer to their own language as Lamo. Some Lamo speakers also refer to their town language as ˊmbo hkə.
Lamo autonyms by location (gSerkhu, discussed below, is a minor mutually intelligible variety):
|Lamo||[la55 mo55]||Dongba Township 东坝乡, Dzogang County|
|Lamo||[la55 mɛ53]||Zhonglinka Township 中林卡乡, Dzogang County|
|gSerkhu||[sə55 khu55]||Shangchayu Town 下察隅镇, Dzayul County|
Lamo is spoken by about 4,000 speakers, with 2,000 in Dongba Township, and 2,000 in Zhonglinka Township. Both townships are located along the Nujiang River in Dzogang County.
Lamo and gSerkhu villages by township:
|Lamo||Dongba Township 东坝乡, Dzogang||Junyong 军拥村, Gewa 格瓦村, Puka 普卡村, Bazuo, and Jiaba 加坝村|
|Lamo||Zhonglinka Township 中林卡乡, Dzogang||Shizika 十字卡村, Luoba 洛巴村, Ruoba 若巴村, Wadui 瓦堆村, and Wamei 瓦美村|
|gSerkhu||Shangchayu Town 上察隅镇, Dzayul||Benzhui 本堆村, Muzong, Cuixi 翠兴村, and Sangba|
There are two dialects:
- Lamo (Tibetan name for the language: mBo-skad)
There are 5 Lamo-speaking village clusters in Dongba Township, which are Kyilwa, Phurkha, Gewa, Gyastod and Gyasmed. The remaining village clusters, out of a total of 13 village clusters in Dongba Township, are Khams Tibetan-speaking villages.
Lamei is spoken by 1,500 to 2,000 people in 5 village clusters in is spoken in Zhonglinka Township. Sitrikhapa, Wangtod, Wangmed, Rongba, and Laba village clusters have only Lamei speakers. Woba, Pula, and Zuoshod village clusters have both Lamei and Khams Tibetan speakers.
gSerkhu is a variety of Lamo, with which it is mutually intelligible. Khams Tibetan speakers refer to the language as Sikhu. gSerkhu is spoken by about 400 people (80 households) in 4 villages of the gSerkhu Valley, which are Benzhui, Muzong, Cuixi, and Sangba, all located in Shangchayu Town, Dzayul County. Dzayul County also has Khams Tibetan speakers who had originally migrated from the Lamo-speaking area of Dongba Township, Dzogang County.
Suzuki & Nyima (2016, 2018) suggest that Lamo may be a Qiangic language. Guillaume Jacques (2016) suggests that mBo is a rGyalrongic language belonging to the Stau-Khroskyabs (Horpa-Lavrung) branch.
Suzuki & Nyima (2018) note that Lamo is closely related to two other recently documented languages of Chamdo, eastern Tibet, namely Larong (spoken in the Lancang River valley of Zogang County and Markam County) and Drag-yab (spoken in southern Zhag'yab County).
|one||ˉdə||gcig||*tyak ~ *g-t(y)ik|
|ten||ˉʁɑ||bcu||*ts(y)i(y) ~ *tsyay|
Suzuki & Nyima (2016) list the following Lamo words.
|fish||ɲɛ˩ (Tibetic loan)|
|land||sɛ˥ tɕʰɛ (Tibetic loan)|
|sand||ɕe˩ mɛ (Tibetic loan)|
Directional prefixes in Lamo:
- n-: ˊnə- sə̰ ‘kill’, ˊna-qɑ ‘chew’, ˊnu-pho ‘drop’
- th-: ˊtho-xɯ ‘go’, ˊtho-ndzo ‘gather’, ˊthe-ji ‘sell’
- k-: ˊka-tɵ ‘buy’, ˉko’-ɕa ‘break into pieces’
- t-: ˉtu’-rɑ ‘receive’, ˉtə’-tɕa ‘wear (a hat)’
- l-: ˉla’-mbo ‘overthrow’
- w-: ˉwo’-ɕa ‘tear up’, ˊwu-ndzə ‘eat’
Directional prefixes with le ‘come’ in Lamo:
- ˊne-le: ‘come downwards/come down’
- ˊthe-le: ‘(he) has arrived’ (perfect/aorist only)
- k-: (does not occur)
- ˊtə’-le: ‘arrive upwards/come here close to the speaker’
- ˉle-le: ‘come to a place closer to the speaker but not necessarily near them’
- ˊwu-le: ‘come towards the speaker on the same horizontal level’
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lamo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Xizang Changdu Diqu Difangzhi Bianzuan Weiyuanhui 西藏昌都地区地方志编纂委员会 (2005). Changdu Diquzhi 昌都地区志. Beijing: Fangzhi Chubanshe 方志出版社.
- Tashi Nyima; Hiroyuki Suzuki (2019). "Newly recognised languages in Chamdo: Geography, culture, history, and language". Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 42 (1): 38–81. doi:10.1075/ltba.18004.nyi. ISSN 0731-3500.
- Jacques, Guillaumes. 2016. Les journées d'études sur les langues du Sichuan.
- Suzuki, Hiroyuki and Tashi Nyima. 2016. ’Bo skad, a newly recognised non-Tibetic variety spoken in mDzo sgang, TAR: a brief introduction to its sociolinguistic situation, sounds, and vocabulary. Fourth Workshop on Sino-Tibetan Languages of Southwest China (STLS-2016). University of Washington, Seattle, September 8-10, 2016.
- Suzuki, Hiroyuki and Tashi Nyima. 2017. Outline of verb morphology of Lamo (mDzo sgang, Tibet). Paper presented at 50th International Conference for Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics (Beijing).
- Suzuki, Hiroyuki and Tashi Nyima. 2018. Historical relationship among three non-Tibetic languages in Chamdo, TAR. Proceedings of the 51st International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics (2018). Kyoto: Kyoto University.