SOAS University of London

China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

Tibetan (Classical) 2

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Full Year
This module builds on the foundations of the module in Elementary Classical Tibetan. It exposes students to classical texts from various genres, including historical, biographical and religious. By reading and translating excerpts of these texts, students are guided in the practical application of their grammatical training while they continue to increase their vocabulary. This is accompanied by selected readings of secondary literature on Tibetan language for further theoretical grounding.


Tibetan (Classical) 1 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, the student should gain the necessary confidence to read and approach classical texts of various genres.


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (70%); homework (15%); tests (15%).

Suggested reading

Essential Reading:

  • Beyer, Stephan. 1992. The Classical Tibetan Language. Albany: The State University of New York Press. 
  • Denwood, Philip. 1999. Tibetan. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 
  • Gyurme, Kesang. 1992. Le Clair Miroir. Paris : Editions Prajña, 1992. 

Non-essential Reading: 

  • Lalou, Marcelle. 1950. Manuel élémentaire de tibétain classique: méthode empirique. Paris. 
  • Takeuchi, T & Y Takahashi. 1995. Split Ergative Patterns in Transitive and Intransitive Sentences in Tibetan: a Reconsideration. New Horizons in Tibeto-Burman Morphosyntax. Senri Ethnological Studies, 41. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 277–288. 
  • Tillemans, TJF & DD Herforth. 1989. Agents and Actions in Classical Tibetan. Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, 21, Vienna. 
  • Tournadre, N. 1996. L'ergativité en tibétain. Paris: Editions Peeters.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules