Volume 40, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Based on internal reconstruction, this paper resolves a long-standing problem observed in Khroskyabs, a West Gyalrongic language (Sino-Tibetan), that seems to sporadically have lenited voiceless stops, resulting in irregular correspondences with East Gyalrongic. Two major sound changes are involved: intervocalic lenition and post-stress intersyllabic compression. It turns out that the processes proposed here are one probable solution to monosyllabicization in languages of Southeast Asia, explaining a pathway from polysyllables or sesquisyllables toward monosyllables. Through examining potential problems of previous reconstructions in various languages, this paper shows that the Khroskyabs case provides a plausible direction in the solution of relevant unresolved problems from a panchronic perspective.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Baltazani, Mary
    2007 Prosodic rhythm and the status of vowel reduction in Greek. Selected Papers on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics17(1). 31–43. 10.26262/istal.v17i1.5539
    https://doi.org/10.26262/istal.v17i1.5539 [Google Scholar]
  2. Baxter, William H. & Laurent Sagart
    2014Old Chinese: A new reconstruction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945375.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945375.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  3. Brunelle, Marc
    2005Register in Eastern Cham: Phonological, phonetic and sociolinguistic approaches. Cornell University.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Brunelle, Marc & Pittayawat Pittayaporn
    2012 Phonologically-constrained change: The role of the foot in monosyllabization and rhythmic shifts in Mainland Southeast Asia. Diachronica29(4). 411–433. 10.1075/dia.29.4.01bru
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dia.29.4.01bru [Google Scholar]
  5. Burzio, Luigi
    1994Principles of English stress. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511519741
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511519741 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bybee, Joan & Shelece Easterday
    2019 Consonant strengthening: A crosslinguistic survey and articulatory proposal. Linguistic Typology23(2). 263–302. 10.1515/lingty‑2019‑0015
    https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2019-0015 [Google Scholar]
  7. Campbell, Lyle
    2013Historical linguistics. Edinburgh University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Carter, Allyson K. & Cynthia G. Clopper
    2002 Prosodic effects on word reduction. Language and Speech45(4). 321–353. 10.1177/00238309020450040201
    https://doi.org/10.1177/00238309020450040201 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cavirani, Edoardo
    2015Modelling phonologization: Vowel reduction and epenthesis in Lunigiana dialects. Amsterdam: LOT Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Chen, Yen-ling
    2018Proto-Ong-Be. PhD dissertation, University of Hawai’i at Manoa. CitetononCRdoi:10.5281/zenodo.4034260
    https://doi.org/Cite to nonCR doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4034260 [Google Scholar]
  11. Dalby, Jonathan Marler
    1986Phonetic structure of fast speech in American English, vol.71. Reproduced by theIndiana University Linguistics Club.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Dauer, Rebecca M.
    1980 The reduction of unstressed high vowels in Modern Greek. Journal of the International Phonetic Association10(1/2). 17–27. 10.1017/S0025100300002073
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025100300002073 [Google Scholar]
  13. DeLancey, Scott
    2014 Second person verb forms in Tibeto-Burman. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area37(1). 3–33. 10.1075/ltba.37.1.01lan
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ltba.37.1.01lan [Google Scholar]
  14. Durie, Mark & Malcolm Ross
    1996The comparative method reviewed: Regularity and irregularity in language change. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Exon, Charles
    1906 Medial vowel-syncope in Latin. Hermathena14(32). 117–143.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Ferlus, Michel
    1982 Spirantisation des obstruantes médiales et formation du système consonantique du vietnamien. Cahiers de Linguistique – Asie Orientale11(1). 83–106. 10.1163/19606028‑90000423
    https://doi.org/10.1163/19606028-90000423 [Google Scholar]
  17. 1997 Compte rendu d’exposé : Evolution vers le monosyllabisme dans quelques langues de l’Asie du Sud-Est. Société de Linguistique de Paris921. 17–18.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. 1999 Les disharmonies tonales en Viet-Muong et leurs implications historiques. Cahiers de Linguistique – Asie Orientale28(1). 83–100. 10.3406/clao.1999.1546
    https://doi.org/10.3406/clao.1999.1546 [Google Scholar]
  19. 2014 Arem, a Vietic language. Mon-Khmer Studies43(1). 1–15.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Fletcher, Janet
    2010 The prosody of speech: Timing and rhythm. InWilliam J. Hardcastle, John Laver & Fiona E. Gibbon (eds.), The handbook of phonetic sciences, 521–602. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell 2nd edn. 10.1002/9781444317251.ch15
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444317251.ch15 [Google Scholar]
  21. Fulk, Robert Dennis
    2018A comparative grammar of the early Germanic languages, vol.31. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/sigl.3
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sigl.3 [Google Scholar]
  22. Garnier, Romain
    2012 Allomorphisme et lois de limitation rythmique en latin. Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris1071. 233–257.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Gong, Hwang-Cherng
    2003 Tangut. InRandy LaPolla & Graham Thurgood (eds.), The Sino-Tibetan languages, 602–620. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Gong, Xun
    2017 Grade II in Tangut and Hexi Late Middle Chinese. Paper presented atRecent Advances in Tangut Studies, 24 January, 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 2018Le rgyalrong zbu, une langue tibéto-birmane de Chine du Sud-ouest : une étude descriptive, typologique et comparative. PhD dissertation, Institut national des langues et civilizations orientales.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. 2020 Uvulars and uvularization in Tangut phonology. Language and Linguistics21(2). 175–212. 10.1075/lali.00060.gon
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lali.00060.gon [Google Scholar]
  27. 2021 Nasal preinitials in Tangut Phonology. Archiv orientální89(3). 443–482. 10.47979/aror.j.89.3.443‑482
    https://doi.org/10.47979/aror.j.89.3.443-482 [Google Scholar]
  28. Handel, Zev
    2009 Reflections on the historical origin of the Northen Min ‘softened initials’. Language and Linguistics10(1). 1–16.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Hansson, Inga-Lill
    1989 A comparison of Akha, Hani, Khatu and Pijo. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area121. 6–91.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Hill, Nathan W.
    2014 Sino-Tibetan: Part 2 Tibetan. InRochelle Lieber & Pavol Štekauer (eds.), The Oxford handbook of derivational morphology, 619–884. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. 2019The historical phonology of Tibetan, Burmese, and Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781316550939
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316550939 [Google Scholar]
  32. Holmer, Nils Magnus
    1947Critical and comparative grammar of the Cuna language, vol.141. Göteborg: Elanders Boktryckeri Atkiebolag.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Honkasalo, Sami
    2019A grammar of Eastern Geshiza. PhD dissertation, University of Helsinki.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Hooper, Joan B.
    1978 Constraints on schwa-deletion in American English. Recent developments in historical phonology183–207. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110810929.183
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110810929.183 [Google Scholar]
  35. Huang, Bufan
    1991 Dàofúyǔ道孚语 [The Rtau language]. InQingxia Dai, Bufan Huang, Ailan Fu, Renzeng Wangmu & Ju Liu (eds.), Zangmianyu shiwuzhong藏缅语十五种 [Fifteen Tibeto-Burman languages], 1–45. Beijing: Yanshan chubanshe.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. 2007Làwùróngyǔ yán jiū拉塢戎語研究 [Study on the Lavrung language]. Beijing: Minzu chubanshe.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Huang, Bufan & Qingxia Dai
    (eds.) 1992 Zàngmiǎn yǔzú yǔyán cíhuì藏缅语族语言词汇 [Vocabulary in Tibeto-Burman languages]. 中央民族大学.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Jacques, Guillaume
    2004Phonologie et morphologie du Japhug (rGyalrong). PhD dissertation, Université Paris VII – Denis Diderot.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. 2012 An internal reconstruction of Tibetan stem alternations. Transactions of the Philological Society110(2). 212–224. 10.1111/j.1467‑968X.2012.01293.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-968X.2012.01293.x [Google Scholar]
  40. 2014a Denominal affixes as sources of antipassive markers in Japhug Rgyalrong. Lingua1381. 1–22. 10.1016/j.lingua.2013.09.011
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2013.09.011 [Google Scholar]
  41. 2014bEsquisse de phonologie et de morphologie historique du tangoute. Leiden: Brill. 10.1163/9789004264854
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004264854 [Google Scholar]
  42. 2014c On Coblin’s law. InRichard VanNess Simmons & Newell Ann Van Auken (eds.), Studies in Chinese and Sino-Tibetan Linguistics, 155–166. Taipei: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. (ed.) 2015Dictionnaire Japhug-Chinois-Français. Paris: Projet HimalCo.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. 2018 Bipartite verbs in Japhug and other Trans-Himalayan languages. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area41(2). 175–191. 10.1075/ltba.17012.jac
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ltba.17012.jac [Google Scholar]
  45. 2019 Fossil nominalization prefixes in Tibetan and Chinese. Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics12(1). 13–28. 10.1163/2405478X‑01201002
    https://doi.org/10.1163/2405478X-01201002 [Google Scholar]
  46. Jacques, Guillaume, Anton Antonov, Yunfan Lai & Lobsang Nima
    2014 Person marking in Stau. Himalayan Linguistics13(1). 82–92. 10.5070/H913224068
    https://doi.org/10.5070/H913224068 [Google Scholar]
  47. 2017 Stau (Ergong, Horpa). InGraham Thurgood & Randy LaPolla (eds.), The Sino-Tibetan languages (2nd edition), 597–613. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Jacques, Guillaume & Thomas Pellard
    2020 Phylogenies based on lexical innovations refute the Rung hypothesis. Diachronica10.1075/dia.19058.jac
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dia.19058.jac [Google Scholar]
  49. Kümmel, Martin J.
    2007Konsonantenwandel: Bausteine zu einer Typologie des Lautwandels und ihre Konsequenzen fur die vergleichende Rekonstruktion. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Lai, Yunfan
    2017Grammaire du khroskyabs de Wobzi. PhD dissertation, Université Paris III.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. 2022a When internal reconstruction goes further: Proposing the vowel system of Proto-Khroskyabs through examining bound state apophony. Folia Linguistica Historica56(s43–s1). 213–261. 10.1515/flin‑2022‑2015
    https://doi.org/10.1515/flin-2022-2015 [Google Scholar]
  52. 2022b Preinitial denasalisation and palatal fortition in Khroskyabs and the Gyalrongic word for ‘man’. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area45 (2). 211–229. 10.1075/ltba.22006.lai
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ltba.22006.lai [Google Scholar]
  53. Lai, Yunfan, Xun Gong, Jesse P. Gates & Guillaume Jacques
    2020 Tangut as a West Rgyalrongic language. Folia Linguistica Historica41(1). 171–203. 10.1515/flih‑2020‑0006
    https://doi.org/10.1515/flih-2020-0006 [Google Scholar]
  54. LaPolla, Randy
    2017 An overview of Sino-Tibetan morphosyntax. InGraham Thurgood & Randy LaPolla (eds.), The Sino-Tibetan languages, 40–69. Abingdon & New York: Routledge 2nd edn.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Li, Fanwen
    1997 Xià Hàn zìdiǎn夏漢字典 [A Tangut-Chinese dictionary]. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Lin, You-jing
    2011 Perfective and imperfective from the same source: directional “down” in rGyalrong. Diachronica28.1. 54–81. 10.1075/dia.28.1.03lin
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dia.28.1.03lin [Google Scholar]
  57. Lin, You-jing & Luoerwu
    2003 Chábǎo jiāróngyǔ Dàzànghuà de qūxiàng qiánzhuì yǔ dòngcí cígàn de biànhuà茶堡嘉戎語大藏話的趨向前綴與動詞詞幹的變化 [The directional prefixes and verb stem alternations in the Datshang dialect of Japhug]. 民族語文Mínzú yǔwén41. 19–29.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Lin, Youjing
    2003 Tense and aspect morphology in the Zhuokeji rGyalrong verb. Cahiers de linguistique – Asie orientale32(2). 245–286. 10.3406/clao.2003.1633
    https://doi.org/10.3406/clao.2003.1633 [Google Scholar]
  59. Matisoff, James A.
    1973 Tonogenesis in southeast Asia. Consonant types and tone11. 71–96.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Michaud, Alexis
    2012 Monosyllabicization: patterns of evolution in Asian languages. Monosyllables: from phonology to typology115–130. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. 10.1524/9783050060354.115
    https://doi.org/10.1524/9783050060354.115 [Google Scholar]
  61. Miyake, Marc Hideo
    2012 Complexity from compression: A sketch of Pre-Tangut. InIrina Popova (ed.), Тангуты в Центральной Азии: сборник статей в честь 80-летия проф. Е.И.Кычанова [Tanguts in Central Asia: A collection of articles marking the 80th anniversary of Prof. E. I. Kychanov], Moscow: Oriental Literature.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Muchiki, Yoshi
    1994 Spirantization in fifth-century B.C. North-West Semitic. Journal of Near Eastern Studies53(2). 125–130. 10.1086/373675
    https://doi.org/10.1086/373675 [Google Scholar]
  63. Norman, Jerry
    1973 Tonal development in Min. Journal of Chinese Linguistics (1). 222–238.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. 1974 The initials of Proto-Min. Journal of Chinese Linguistics (21). 27–36.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. 1986 The origin of the Proto-Min softened stops. Contributions to Sino- Tibetan Studies375–384.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Norquest, Peter
    2015A phonological reconstruction of Proto-Hlai. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. 10.1163/9789004300521
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004300521 [Google Scholar]
  67. Patterson, David, Paul C. LoCasto & Cynthia M. Connine
    2003 Corpora analyses of frequency of schwa deletion in conversational American English. Phonetica60(1). 45–69. 10.1159/000070453
    https://doi.org/10.1159/000070453 [Google Scholar]
  68. Peiros, Ilya
    2015a Ahlao (Thavung). InMary Ritchie Key & Bernard Comrie (eds.), The intercontinental dictionary series, Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://ids.clld.org/contributions/827
    [Google Scholar]
  69. 2015b Malieng. InMary Ritchie Key & Bernard Comrie (eds.), The intercontinental dictionary series, Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://ids.clld.org/contributions/826
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Pittayaporn, Pittayawat
    2009The phonology of Proto-Tai. PhD dissertation, Cornell University.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Ratliff, Martha
    2010Hmong-Mien language history. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. 10.15144/PL‑613
    https://doi.org/10.15144/PL-613 [Google Scholar]
  72. Riad, Tomas
    1992Structures in Germanic prosody: a diachronic study with special reference to the Nordic languages. PhD dissertation, Institutionen för nordiska språk, Stockholm.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Ryu, Na-Young & Sung-Hoon Hong
    2013 Schwa deletion in the conversational speech of English: The role of linguistic factors. Linguistic Research30(2). 313–333. 10.17250/khisli.30.2.201308.008
    https://doi.org/10.17250/khisli.30.2.201308.008 [Google Scholar]
  74. Sagart, Laurent
    1999The roots of Old Chinese. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.184
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.184 [Google Scholar]
  75. Sagart, Laurent, Guillaume Jacques, Yunfan Lai, Robin J. Ryder, Valentin Thouzeau, Simon J. Greenhill & Johann-Mattis List
    2019 Dated language phylogenies shed light on the ancestry of Sino-Tibetan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences10.1073/pnas.1817972116
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1817972116 [Google Scholar]
  76. Ségéral, Philippe & Tobias Scheer
    2008 Positional factors in lenition and fortition. InJoaquim Brandão de Carvalho, Tobias Scheer & Philippe Ségéral (eds.), Lenition and fortition, 131–172. Berlin / New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110211443.1.131
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110211443.1.131 [Google Scholar]
  77. Shiraishi, Hidetoshi
    2008 Nivkh. InJoaquim Brandão de Carvalho, Tobias Scheer & Philippe Ségéral (eds.), Lenition and fortition, 387–413. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110211443.2.387
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110211443.2.387 [Google Scholar]
  78. Solnit, David B.
    1988 The position of Lakkia within Kadai. InJerold A. Edmondson & David B. Solnit (eds.), Comparative Kadai: Linguistic studies beyond Tai, vol.861, 219–238. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington.
    [Google Scholar]
  79. Sun, Jackson T.-S.
    1997 Caodeng. Accessed viaSTEDT database stedt.berkeley.edu/search/ on2021-01-28.
  80. 2000a Parallelisms in the verb morphology of Sidaba rGyalrong and Lavrung in rGyalrongic. Language and Linguistics1(1). 161–190.
    [Google Scholar]
  81. 2000b Stem Alternations in Puxi verb inflection: Toward validating the rGyalrongic subgroup in Qiangic. Language and Linguistics1(2). 211–232.
    [Google Scholar]
  82. 2008 Tonality in Caodeng rGgyalrong. InBrigitte Huber, Marianne Volkart & Paul Widmer (eds.), Chomolangma, Demawend und Kasbek: Festschrift für Roland Bielmeier zu seinem 65 Geburtstag, 257–280. Halle (Saale): International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies.
    [Google Scholar]
  83. Szigetvári, Péter
    2008 What and where?InJoaquim Brandão de Carvalho, Tobias Scheer & Philippe Ségéral (eds.), Lenition and fortition, 93–129. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110211443.1.93
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110211443.1.93 [Google Scholar]
  84. Thurgood, Graham
    1999From ancient Cham to modern dialects: Two thousand years of language contact and change. Honolulu: University of Hawaii press.
    [Google Scholar]
  85. Weiss, Michael
    2009Outline of the historical and comparative grammar of Latin. Ann Arbor: Beech Stave Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  86. Yin, Weibin
    2007Yèlóng Lāwùróngyǔ yánjiū业隆拉坞戎语研究 [Study on the Yelong Lavrung language]. Beijing: Minzu chubanshe.
    [Google Scholar]
  87. Zhang, Menghan, Shi Yan, Wuyun Pan & Li Jin
    2019 Phylogenetic evidence for Sino-Tibetan origin in northern China in the Late Neolithic. Nature112–115. 10.1038/s41586‑019‑1153‑z
    https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1153-z [Google Scholar]
  88. Zhang, Shuya
    2020Le rgyalrong situ de brag-bar et sa contribution à la typologie de l’expression des relations spatiales: l’orientation et le mouvement associé. PhD dissertation, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales.
    [Google Scholar]
  89. Zwicky, Arnold
    1972 Note on a phonological hierarchy in English. InRobert P. Stockwell & Ronald K. S. Macaulay (eds.). Linguistic change and generative theory2751. 301. Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error