1887
Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
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Abstract

This paper offers a synchronic description of stress patterns in two conservative varieties of Tibetan, and a diachronic reconstruction of stress patterns in Proto-Tibetan. For both Balti and Rebkong Amdo, stress falls on the second syllable (σ2) of disyllabic non-verbs — nouns, adjectives, and numerals. Through the method of “historical comparative prosody”, σ2 stress is likewise reconstructed for disyllabic non-verbs in Proto-Tibetan. Disyllabic verbs are never stressed on σ2. For Balti, robust evidence shows that they are stressed on the first syllable (σ1). Limited data for Rebkong Amdo suggests the same pattern. Thus σ1 stress is tentatively reconstructed for verbs in Proto-Tibetan. These reconstructed Proto-Tibetan stress patterns are of diachronic significance. They have reflexes in the tone patterns of the modern spoken varieties of Tibetan (Caplow 2009); in future research, it may be possible to trace them back to prosodic patterns higher up in the Tibeto-Burman and Sino-Tibetan family trees.

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2017-01-16
2019-10-16
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Amdo , Balti , historical comparative prosody , historical reconstruction , Proto-Tibetan , stress , Tibetan , tone and tonogenesis
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