A Grammar of Kham (Cambridge Grammatical Descriptions) by David E. Watters

By David E. Watters

It is a accomplished grammatical documentation of Kham, a formerly undescribed language from west-central Nepal, belonging to the Tibeto-Burman language family members. The language has an strange constitution, containing a few features which are of quick relevance to present paintings on linguistic thought, together with cut up ergativity and its demonstrative approach. Its verb morphology has implications for the certainty of the historical past of the total Tibeto-Burman kinfolk. The publication, in response to huge fieldwork, offers copious examples during the exposition. it will likely be a invaluable source for typologists and normal linguists alike.

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Table 9. 6 Diphthongs ending in /-i/ In Takale (and its closest siblings), Proto-Kham coronal codas (except *-l) have been lost with a resulting diphthong ending in /-i/. Table 10 gives the correspondences. 30 2 Segmental phonology Table 10. Offglides from loss of coronal codas in Kham –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Proto-Kham Bhuji Sheshi Takale other /-˙t/ > /-˙i/ PTB make *jat jat -j˙tj˙i jat (Magar) clothe *kway *s-kwa-t kwat -kwat- kwaih blow *s-mut *s-mut muht mut mwi:h mhut (Magar) hear *ta-s *that that th˙i÷ th˙i thas (Chantel) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– /-ut/ > /wi/ hand *kut kut kwi: kwi: gud (Tibetan) compress *r-tshut chut chwi: chui (Thakali) lay egg *r-zut juht hrut zuhri: rhu- (Magar) leech *r-wat *b-s-rut brut lui÷ rwi:h lawat (Magar) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– /-˙n/ > /-˙üî/ know *s˙n s˙n s˙n s˙üî syan (Chepang) milk *n˙w *nun nun nwüî: nunu (Chantel) prevent *won wi÷ woüî üoy (Sunwar) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– This is a widespread Bodish phenomenon, which has been discussed in general by Michailovsky (1975a), and in more detail for Sunwar by Genetti (1992).

Short syllables are monomoraic. Hence, no word can consist of a single short syllable. This is not a problem in most cases; most words, because of obligatory affixation, are polysyllabic and therefore necessarily polymoraic, as in the following: (18) a. si-ke b. ge-ba-ke ‘he died’ ‘we went’ A potential problem arises with the class of monomoraic morphemes that can occur without affixation – noun roots and particles. Particles, however, are phonologically 6 This rule does not apply to polysyllabic words in which all the morphemes are one syllable, one mora long.

LAX PHONATION: /pe:h/ ‘bamboo box’ c. ASPIRATION: /phe:/ ‘ball of string’ In syllables with voiced onsets, on the other hand, only a two-way contrast exists – a 22 2 Segmental phonology contrast between normal phonation, as in /be:/ ‘skirt,’ and something else that could, without further insights, be interpreted either as lax phonation or aspiration: (9) a. : /bhe:/ ‘basket’ b. 5 Given the fact, however, that lax phonation occurs in syllables with almost any onset (voiced, voiceless, or no consonantal onset at all), and that all such syllables display identical tonal properties (as opposed to aspirated syllables which have different tonal properties), it becomes clear that such syllables should be interpreted as lax phonation types.

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