This is an introduction to the earliest known form of the Tibetan language, which was current during the period of the Tibetan Empire (ca. 6l8- 866 A.D.) and for about a century afterward; the earliest text dates to 649 A.D. There is a vast corpus of material written in Old Tibetan, most of it little known or completely uninvestigated. The gives a thorough practical and philological introduction to the Old Tibetan language. While doing so it will cover Old Tibetan phonology, morphology, and syntax, and introduce the comparative-historical study of the language.
Required Texts: H.A. Jaeschke, Tibetan-English Dictionary (also available in the IU Main Library). Reading assignments will be distributed in class. Texts to be read will include portions of the Old Tibetan Annals and one or more inscriptions.
Grading: Based on attendance, preparation, participation, periodic quizzes, and satisfactory completion of two projects.