I can give you a grammatical characterization of Tibetan so then you can compare its features with the other two languages and progress your research about typology.
Tibetan is a particular language with some relatively weird grammatical elements.
Its lexical dimension:
As in Chinese and Burmese the basic words are mostly monosyllables and the creation of new terms occurs through the process of composition. Like Chinese, it is a language that, when influenced by foreign languages, prefers the use of calques instead of loans. Vocabulary changes depending on the context and there are 3 registers: Vernacular, literary and honorific.
Its grammatical dimension:
It is a highly agglutinative language where various particles are used to suffix to words. The nominal declension system is based on ten cases. Verbal auxiliaries are conjugated in time/aspect and evidentiality and show opposition between positive and negative forms, as well as between existential form (transitory phenomena) and essential form (permanent phenomena). There is a great use of functional particles such as nominalizers (they turn a verb into a noun) and verbalizers (vice versa), and use of postpositions. Adjectives can carry special particles according to their functions within a sentence.
Example of agluttinative process:
གྲྭ་པ་ནི་དགོན་པ་ན་སློབ་སྦྱོང་བྱེད་པའི་སྒང་ཡིན་ནམ། - Is the monk studying in the temple?
Grwa-pa (monk) + ni [topicalizer] , dgon-pa (temple) + na [locative case] , slob-byongs (studying (noun)) + byed [verbalizer] + pa [funtionalizer] + ‘I [genitive case] + sgang [progressive] + yin [egophoric evidenciality] + nam [interrogative particle]
Note: Despite these agglutinative features, some analytical elements persist in Tibetan grammar. For example words such as
<<rgyu>> has multiple meanings and functions that only the syntax will determine.
Particular elements to highlight:
- It is an ergative language, so it is convenient to use a classification of Agent vs. Patient (instead of Subject vs. Object) to understand its phrase structures, as well is a language that use concepts of transitivity and valency to sort out the verbs according to its semantic behavior.
- All verbs are classified into volitive or involitive classes. This define the auxiliaries each verb can take.
- Most of dialects which has developed tones (more accurate should say “contours”) had lose its voiced sounds as independent consonants and now showing tonal opposition between syllables.
- The degree of evidentiality applied in the verbal auxiliary shows the source of the knowledge exposed in a sentence. The most used are 7, here are some examples:
- Egophoric (subjective knowledge, the perspectives of one's own ego)
- Assertive (knowledge of an objective source, such as historical, scientific, general facts ...)
- Testimonial (knowledge based on direct evidence)
- Epistemic (knowledge based on some deduction by a logical process)
And so on…
- Tibetan uses a topicalizing particle <> that can be exchanged for the noun case of any argument in order to reinforce the idea of central theme.
- Verbs change its shape and can have different stems. Many of them come in pairs (resultative and causative), and traditionally each verb has 3 forms (stems): perfective stem (used to form the preterite and the Aorist), imperfective stem (to form the present, future, gerundive and others ..) and the imperative stem (forms multiple types of commands).
Example: Stems of the verb “to conceal”:
Its causative pair is གབ་ (khab)
Its tense stems are:
Perfective: འགེབས་ (‘gebs)
Imperfective: བཀབ་ (bkab)
Imperative: ཁོབས་ (khobs)
Finally, some similarities and differences I can perceive between Chinese and Tibetan are:
Tibetan lacks using of classifiers or measure words, nor use coverbs. The verb always goes to the end of the sentence and is not static as in Chinese, that is, it changes its form in several stems and a great variety of auxiliaries are attached. Chinese has no articles but in Tibetan it can be used the demonstrative pronoun “that”
<<de>> as definite article, as well the number “one” in its form
<<chig>> can be develop as an indefinite article. Many Tibetan particles can change its spelling according to “Sandhi” rules.
The way to mark the feminine and the plural is relativity similar, so the nouns are generally neuter. As well as in Chinese, sometimes the pronoun can be dropped when context allow it.