(Last Updated on : 10/06/2019)
Also known as Drenjongke, the Sikkimese language
belongs to the Southern Tibetan languages and is spoken by the Bhutia
in the north eastern state
. The people of Sikkim refer to their own language as Drendzongke and their homeland as Drendzong.
Script of Sikkimese Language
The Tibetan alphabet is inherited from the Classical Tibetan and the Sikkimese language is written using these alphabets. Though the Sikkimese phonology and lexicon differ markedly from the Classical Tibetan, the Sumer Institute of Linguists (SIL) International describes the Sikkimese writing style as Bodhi
style. As per the 2001 SIL records, it states that about 68 percent of Sikkimese Bhutia were literate in Tibetan script
Overview of Sikkimese Language
The Dzongkha language or Bhutanese has a certain lexical similarity of about 65 percent with the Sikkimese language. And the Standard Tibetan is only 42 percent lexically similar. It is said that the Sikkimese language to some degree has been influenced by the neighbouring Yolmowa and Tamang languages.
In the Sikkimese phonology, the devoiced Sikkimese consonants are pronounced with a slight breathy voice, aspiration and low pitch, while the remnants of the voiced consonants in Classical Tibetan have become devoiced. The Sikkimese speakers also tend to use Nepali
and Standard Tibetan languages in their daily lives due to their close geographical proximity for more than a century.
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