Report on the First Linguistic Survey of Bhutan

© George van Driem, 1991

The First Linguistic Survey of Bhutan was conducted by the author in 1991 in the service of the Dzongkha Development Commission of the Royal Government of Bhutan. During this survey, an inventory was made of all the languages spoken in the Himalayan kingdom. The geographical distribution and genetic affinity of each language was determined. Estimates of numbers of speakers were made on the basis of unpublished census data, roof counts and on-site investigation. In the course of the survey, two previously unknown Tibeto-Burman languages were discovered by the author. These are Gongduk and the Black Mountain language. This report was not made available for distribution outside Bhutan. However, the new information contained in this report has appeared in several other publications with the kind permission of the Dzongkha Development Commission in Thimphu, i.e. van Driem (1992b, 1998a, and especially 1995b).