Ladakhi

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A language of India

Alternate Names
Ladak, Ladakh Skat, Ladaphi, Ladhakhi, Ladwags
Population

105,000 in India (2001 census). Population total all countries: 117,000.

Location

Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh district. 250 villages and hamlets. Also in China.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Leh (Central Ladakhi), Nubra Ladakhi, Shamma (Lower Ladakhi, Sham, Shamskat). Perhaps 30%–40% intelligibility of Tibetan [bod]. Leh users comprehend 90% of Zangskari [zau] and Changthang [cna]. Nubra and Shamma not adequately intelligible with Leh to use the same educational, literacy, or development materials. Changthang and Zanskar, while understanding Stod Bhoti [sbu] better than Leh dialect, identify more with Leh Ladakhi culture. 58% to 85% intelligibility of Leh by Changthang, 73%–81% by Zanskar. Lexical similarity: 71%–83% with Purik [prx], 53%–60% with Tibetan, 84%–94% among 5 main dialects.

Typology

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

Language Use

Vigorous. All ages. Positive attitudes. Many speakers in urban areas use Urdu [urd], Hindi [hin], or English [eng]; men are more bilingual than women.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 20%–50% (2001 census). Literacy rate in L2: 54%–65% men, 40% women. Percentage of those who can actually read with understanding is lower than census literacy rate indicates. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1948.
Writing
Tibetan script.
Other Comments

Written Ladakhi is distinct from spoken forms. Leh dialect is acknowledged as standard spoken Ladakhi. It is the medium of Leh radio broadcasts and standard medium of communication among all Ladakh dialects, including Changthang and Zangskari (Paldan 2002). Buddhist, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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