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Rindzi Phup, one of the last speakers of the 'Ole Mönpa language
Rindzi Phup, one of the last speakers of the 'Ole Mönpa language. Photo by George van Driem

‍ '​Ole, also called ‍ '​Olekha or Black Mountain Monpa, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by about 1000 people in the Black Mountains of Wangdue Phodrang and Trongsa Districts in western Bhutan. The term 'Ole refers to a clan of speakers.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

'Ole was unknown beyond its immediate area until 1990,{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} and is now highly endangered, and was originally assumed to be East Bodish.<ref name=BlenchPost13>Blench, R. & Post, M. W. (2013). Rethinking Sino-Tibetan phylogeny from the perspective of Northeast Indian languages</ref> George van Driem described 'Ole as a remnant of the primordial population of the Black Mountains before the southward expansion of the ancient East Bodish tribes.<ref name=vanDriem93>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> More recently, Gwendolyn Hyslop, with the agreement of van Driem, has suggested that 'Ole is an isolated Sino-Tibetan language heavily influenced by East Bodish.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Because of its small amount of cognates with East Bodish languages, Blench and Post provisionally treat 'Ole as an isolate<ref name=BlenchPost13/>

The distantly related Tshangla language of eastern Bhutan, also called "Monpa" and predating Dzongkha, also belongs to the Sino-Tibetan languages.<ref name=vanDriem93/><ref name=vanDriem1>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Although 'Ole is most closely related to the Bumthang language, both being East Bodish languages, Tshangla and related languages form a sister branch not to the East Bodish group, but to its parent Bodish branch. Thus the ambiguous term "Monpa" risks separating languages that should be grouped together, while grouping languages together that are quite separate.<ref name=Andvik>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>


'Ole language sections
Intro  References   Further reading   External links   

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