Publikationen Bettina Zeisler

Draft versions, handouts, and powerpoint presentations for download

(1. linguistics, 2. history of Ladakh and Western Tibet and studies in ancient geography, and 3. other topics):

1. Linguistics

Questionnaire & example set: evidentiality, inferentiality, and speaker’s attitude. Draft version (June 2016)


Presentations & handouts

  • From speaking to doing – the case of Tibetan bya and Kurtöp ŋak. Presentation at the 26th Himalayan Languages Symposium Paris, September 4-6.
  • Quand les paroles ne suivent pas l’ORDRE de la LANGUE: the case of ‘evidentiality’ in Ladakhi (a Tibetic language of northwestern-most India). Handout for the Linguistics and Asian Languages Conference Poznań, March 24-25.
  • Integrating egophoricity into evidentiality or rather: Integrating evidentiality into speaker attitude? The Ladakhi dialects. Extended handout for the International workshop: 'Evidentiality 2.0: Integrating egophoricity' 5.-6. September 2021 Universität Bern.
  • Beyond evidentiality, the case of inok & Cie. Extended handout for the 25th Himalayan Languages Symposium, Sydney, 2019.
  • Introduction to the International workshop: 'Evidentiality’ in Tibetic languages and beyond – a closer look. 16.-17. February 2019 Schloß Hohentübingen (presentation).
  • Vive la parole! ‘Evidential freaks’ in Ladakhi. Handout for the International workshop: 'Evidentiality’ in Tibetic languages and beyond – a closer look. 16.-17. February 2019 Schloß Hohentübingen.
  • Rethinking evidentiality: ‘evidentiality’, epistemic modality, and speaker attitude in Ladakhi. Presentation at the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 50th Annual Meeting, 10.–13.9.2017, Universität Zürich.
  • Towards a Valency Dictionary of Ladakhi Verbs: challenges in analysing a ‘non-configurational’ language. Handout and presentation for SALA 32, Universidade de Lisboa, April 27-29 2016.
  • Evidence for the development of ‘evidentiality’ as a grammatical category in Tibetan. Handout for the Workshop on Empirical Evidence for Evidentiality. Radboud University, Nijmegen, January 9th and 10th, 2014.
  • Verb-verb sequences in Tibetan and Ladakhi (1200 years of stable transition). Handout and presentation for the Ninjal International Symposium ‘Mysteries Of Verb-Verb Complexes In Asian Languages’, Tachikawa, Japan, December 14th and 15th, 2013.
  • The Ngari group of Western Tibetan dialects. Full version of the presentation for the 18th Himalayan Languages Symposium, Benares Hindu University, Varanasi, September 10th – 12th, 2012.
  • Evidentiality and inferentiality: Overlapping and contradictory functions of the so-called evidential markers in Ladakhi (West Tibetan). Presentation and detailed handout presented at the conference The Nature of Eviden­tiality, Universiteit Leiden June 14th – 16th, 2012.
  • Combinatory sound alternations in proto- pre- and real Tibetan: The case of the word family *mra(o) ‘speak’, ‘speaker’, ‘human’, ‘lord’. Paper presented at the 44th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, Central Insitute for Indian Languages, Mysore, October 7th – 9th, 2011. See draft version.
  • Contrasting instead of comparison. Evidence from West Tibetan differentiating property ascriptions. Presentation for the 43rd International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, Lund University, October 15th – 18th, 2010.
  • Possessors or actors? Ergative marking in Upper Ladakhi. Presentation for the Workshop on Ergative Markers, Fédération Typologie et Universaux Linguistiques Paris, November 9th, 2009.

2. History of Ladakh and Western Tibet and studies in ancient geography

  • A whirling swastika of rivers and a mountain on the move – The transferred geography of Mt Meru-Kailash. Presentation as originally prepared for the 16th Conference of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Prague 3-9 July 2022.

  • Faxian’s ‘journey through Ladakh’ or how (not) to do history or science. ཕ༹་ཤྱེན་“ལ་དྭགས་འི་ཕ༹་རིས་སྐྱོད་ཁན་”བེ་སྐོར་ལ་ཡང་ན་འགའ་ཟུག་འ་རྒྱལ་རབས་ཡང་ཚན་རིགས་འི་རྟགས་ཅད་འཛད་རྒོས་ཤ་མེན་ཙོག༎ Presentation for the 19th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies, Choglamsar August 31–September 4, 2019.

  • On the river Bautisos, the Baitai, and the Bod (a contribution to Old Tibetan history & geography). Presentation for the IATS 2019, 40th Anniversary Seminar, Paris 7-13 July 2019. -- Old Tibetan Studies in Honour of Rolf Alfred Stein.

  • ཆུའི་ཐུར་ལ་ཡང་དེ་ངོས་ཤིག་ག་རྨུ་ཟེར་ཁན་ནི་མི་རྒྱུད་དི་ཚོད་ཚོད༎ Down the river and elsewhere: the Rmu, an ethno-historical conundrum- Presentation for the 17th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies, Kargil, 26-29. July 2015.

  • རི་རབ་ཡང་ན་། གངས་ཏི་སེ་། ཀཻ་ལཱ་སའི་ སྐྱལ་མཁན་ནི་དམ་པའི་གནས་བཤད་ལ་༎ The transferred sacral geography of Mt Meru (Kailash). Presentation for the 15th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies, Leh, August 19th – 22nd, 2011.
  • ཀྲོལ་ཅེས་ཡང་རྩིག་ཅེས། ལ་དྭགས་དང་བལ་ཏི་ཡུལ་ལི་རྙིང་པའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་སི་མ་གདན། རིག་ཟིན་ཨང་མོ་(འཇར་གླིང་) deconstruction and reconstruction: foundations for the early history of Ladakh (and Baltistan). Handout and presentation for the 14th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies, Leh, July 16th – 19th, 2009.

3. Other topics

  • Did Gama ever reach the land of lama? Ladakh in a much wider perspective. Presentation at the 18th Seminar of the International Association of Ladakh Studies, Będlewo 2nd – 6th May 2017.
  • ‘Ladakhi’ identities and language attitude. Handout for the conference Language, Power and Identity in Asia Creating and Crossing Language Boundaries, 14 – 16 March 2016, National Museum of Antiquities Leiden, the Netherlands.

The Valency Dictionary of Ladakhi verbs (Beta version) online

The dictionary covers about 95 to 99% of the verbs available to individual speakers. Two quite different dialects are represented: Domkhar (Shamskat, Lower Ladakh) and Gya (Kenhat, Upper Ladakh). At present (autumn 2015), it contains about 950 main entries and more than 1,900 sub-entries for meanings or collocations that go with a different case assignment, yielding almost 2,400 meaning-to-frame sets for two quite different dialects. These sets are accompanied by more than 23,000 full example sentences that show all obligatory as well as the semantically licensed facultative constituents. The dictionary also contains comments of the informants concerning the reasons for the choice of certain constructions, the semantic implications, or also acceptability judgements. The dictionary further focuses on the possibility of pattern variation, similar to the spray-load verb alternations in English.

Due to technical problems, the official server may be offline. Please feel free to contact me, if this should be the case.

Published articles



  • To be or not to be: On the Modern Tibetan auxiliary verb red in classical texts. Himalayan Linguistics 21(3): 50–84. [OA]
  • Of gold, ants, and other fables concerning the ‘Dards’ of Ladakh (and Baltistan). In: Christoph Cüppers, Karl-Heinz Everding, Peter Schwieger (eds), A Life in Tibetan Studies. Festschrift for Dieter Schuh at the Occasion of his 80th Birthday. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute.


  • With Rainer Kimmig.  كیا گاما کبھی پہنچا لاما کے دیش؟  क्या गामा कभी पहुँचा लामा के देश? འགའ་མ་བླ་མའི་ཡུལ་ལ་བསླེབ་ཤེས་ས༎ Did Gama ever reach the land of Lama? (Ladakh in a much wider perspective) In: Rafał Beszterda, John Bray and Elizabeth Williams-Oerberg (eds.), New Perspectives on Modern Ladakh. Fresh Discoveries and Continuing Conversations in the Indian Himalaya. Nicolaus Copernicus University Press, pp. 263-287.
  • The call of the siren: Bod, Baútisos, Baîtai, and related names (Studies in Historical Geography II). Revue d'Etudes tibétaines, 60: 282-397. Please use this link for a better layouted offprint. [OA]
  • Semantically related verb verb combinations in Tibetan and Ladakhi. In: Taro Kageyama, Peter E. Hook, and Prashant Pardeshi (eds.), Verb-verb complexes in Asian languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Review: Marius Zemp. A Grammar of Purik Tibetan. (Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library, 21; Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region.) Leiden/ Boston: Brill, 2018. Linguistic Typology, aop: 1-12. [OA]


  • Ambiguous verb sequences in Ladakhi (a Tibetic language spoken in Ladakh, India, formerly part of the state Jammu and Kashmir). In: Éva Á. Csató, Lars Johanson, and Birsel Karakoç (eds), Ambiguous Verb Sequences in Transeurasian Languages and Beyond. (Turcologica, 120.) Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. (
  • Reviews: Rob Linrothe and Heinrich Pöll. Visible Heritage. Essays on the Art and Architecture of Greater Ladakh. Berlin, Delhi: Studio Orientalia, 2016. & Rob Linrothe. Seeing into Stone. Pre-Buddhist Petroglyphs and Zanskar’s Early Inhabitants. Berlin, Delhi: Studio Orientalia, 2016. Acta Orientalia Hung. 73: 145-153. (Combined link for reviews by four authors.) [OA]


  • Contrast instead of comparison: Evidence from West Tibetan differentiating property ascriptions. In Yvonne Treis and Katarzyna I. Wojtylak (eds.), On the expression of comparison: Contributions to the typology of comparative constructions from lesser-known languages. Special issue of Linguistic Discovery 16.1. 10.1349/PS1.1537-0852.A.491
  • Evidence for the development of ‘evidentiality’ as a grammatical category in Tibetan. In: Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop, Gijs Mulder (eds.), Evidence for Evidentiality. Human Cognitive Processing (HCP) 61: 227–256. doi 10.1075/hcp61.10zei
  • Don’t believe in a paradigm that you haven’t manipulated yourself! – Evidentiality, speaker attitude, and admirativity in Ladakhi (extended version). Himalayan Linguistics 17.1: 67–130. [OA]


  • Hypothetical sound laws and sound potential meaning. Once again on the uncommon Tibetan verb paradigm za, zos, zo ‘eat’. International Journal of Diachronic Linguistics and Linguistic Reconstruction 14: 77–117.
  • Don’t believe in a paradigm that you haven’t manipulated yourself! Evidentiality, speaker attitude, and admirativity in Ladakhi. In: Agnès Celle and Anastasios Tsangalidis (Eds.), The Linguistic Expression of Mirativity. Special issue of Review of Cognitive Linguistics 15.2: 515–539. DOI: 10.1075/rcl.15.2.09zei
  • The emergence of the Ladakhi inferential and experiential markers from a marker for admirativity (non-commitment): the case of ḥdug and snaŋ. Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 4.2: 259-307.


  • las.stsogs etc. – On internal cues for dating Old Tibetan documents. Zentralasiatische Studien 45: 467-491.
  • Review: Thomas Owen-Smith and Nathan W. Hill (eds.) Trans-Himalayan Linguistics. Historical and descriptive linguistics of the Himalayan area. Trends in Linguistics 226. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2014. Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 3.2: 233–249. DOI 10.1515/jsall-2016-0013.
  • Context! Or how to read thoughts in a foreign language. Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 3.2:197–221. DOI 10.1515/jsall-2016-0010
  • Reviev: John Bray and Elena de Rossi Filibeck (eds). 2009. Mountains, Monasteries and Mosques. Recent Research on Ladakh and the Western Himalaya. Proceedings of the 13th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies. Supplemento N° 2 alla Rivista Degli StudiOrientali, Nuova Serie, Volume LXXX. Pisa, Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore. Asian Highlands Perspectives 40: 381-394. [OA]







  • [Review] Huber, Brigitte. 2005. The Tibetan dialect of Lende (Kyirong). Himalayan Linguistics Review 9.1. 2010. 124-132. [OA]
  • East of the moon and west of the sun? Approaches to a land with many names, north of ancient India and south of Khotan. In: Roberto Vitali (ed.) The Earth Ox Papers. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Held at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, September 2009 on the Occasion of the ‘Thankyou India’ Year. The Tibet Journal 34.3-4/35.1-2, Special Issue: 371-463.









Books and edited volumes