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This draft report is based on a preliminary analysis of the results of the ‘Survey of Tibet’s Minority Languages’ conducted by Dr. Gerald Roche at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne. The survey aimed to assess the vitality of approximately 30 languages spoken by Tibetans in China. ‘Vitality’ can be roughly defined as an indicator of a language’s chances of being sustained in the future – if vitality is low, the language is less likely to be spoken in the future, if the vitality is high, it probably will.
Data were collected on 20 languages (see Appendix 1 for further information). This data consisted of expert testimony from linguists and anthropologists who are intimately familiar with the demographic, social, political, cultural contexts in which the languages are spoken (see Appendix 2 for details). Questions consisted of multiple choice and Likert scale questions; opportunity for open comment was also provided.
Where applicable, the caption above each graph shows the question that respondents were asked to answer. Unless otherwise stated, values shown indicate the number of languages. The information below each chart highlights key findings. This preliminary analysis of the data is being made available to help raise awareness of the situation faced by these languages; a more rigorous analysis will follow in subsequent publications.
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