Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


The development of the Gamale Kham labial-palatal approximants /ɥ/ and /ɥ̊/ has previously been attributed to the loss of the Proto-Kham initial *p- or the coda *-p. The vowels /i/ and /e/ which occurred in the adjacent syllable nucleus were rounded, resulting in the front rounded vowels /y/ and /ø/. Following this development, /w/ and /j/ merged to /ɥ/ in Gamale and Eastern Parbate Kham ( Watters 2002 ; 2004 ; 2005 ). This study evaluates this theory and suggests two alternative explanations: that Proto-Kham may have had either two front rounded vowels *y and *ø, or a *ɥ phoneme. In the second case, the work refers to a possible correspondence between a Proto-Kham *ɥ and the Proto-Tibeto-Burman complex *jw.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Benedict, Paul K.
    1972Sino-Tibetan: A Conspectus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511753541
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511753541 [Google Scholar]
  2. Boon, Sara A.
    n.d.The phonology of Maikoti Kham. Ms, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.
  3. Bradley, David
    2002 The subgrouping of Tibeto-Burman. In Christopher Beckwith (Ed.), Tibeto-Burman Medieval Languages, 73–112. Leiden: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Caughley, Ross C.
    1982The Syntax and Morphology of the Verb in Chepang [Pacific Linguistics Series B 84]. Canberra: Australian National University.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. 2000Dictionary of Chepang: A Tibeto-Burman Language of Nepal [Pacific Linguistics 502]. Canberra: Australian National University.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Grunow-Hårsta, Karen
    2008A Descriptive Grammar of Two Major Magar Dialects of Nepal: Tanahu and Syangja Magar, Vol.I. PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Henderson, Eugénie J. A.
    1985 Feature shuffling in Southeast Asian languages. In Suriya Ratanakul , David D. Thomas & Suwilai Premsrirat (eds), Southeast Asian Linguistic Studies Presented to André G. Haudricourt, 1–22. Bangkok: Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development, Mahidol University.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Hock, Hans Henrich
    1991Principles of Historical Linguistics, 2nd revised and updated edition. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110219135
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110219135 [Google Scholar]
  9. Matisoff, James A.
    1973 Tonogenesis in Southeast Asia. In Larry M. Hyman (ed.), Consonant Types and Tone [Southern California Occasional Papers in Linguistics 1], 71–95. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. 1985 God and the Sino-Tibetan copula, with some good news concerning selected Tibeto-Burman rhymes. Journal of Asian and African Studies29: 1–81.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. 1989 Tone, intonation, and sound symbolism in Lahu: Loading the syllable canon. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area12(2): 147–163.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. 1992 Following the marrow: Two parallel Sino-Tibetan etymologies. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area15(1): 159–177.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2003Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman: System and philosophy of Sino-Tibetan reconstruction. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Mazaudon, Martine
    1973Phonologie Tamang: Etude phonologique de dialecte Tamang de Risiangku (Langue Tibéto-Birmane de Népal). Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. 1996 An outline of the historical phonology of the dialects of Nar-Phu (Nepal). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area19(1): 103–114.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Michaud, A.
    2012 Monosyllabicization: Patterns of evolution in Asian Languages. In Timothy Stolz , Nicole Nau & Cornelia Stroh (eds), Monosyllables: From Phonology to Typology, 115–130. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Ringe, Don & Joseph F. Eska
    2013Historical Linguistics: Toward a Twenty-first Century Reintegration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511980183
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511980183 [Google Scholar]
  18. Shepherd, Gary
    . n.d.Magar-English Dictionary. Ms. Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus (STEDT). stedt.berkeley.edu/~stedt-cgi/rootcanal.pl
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Sun, Jackson T-S.
    1993 A Historical-comparative Study of the Tani (Mirish) Branch in Tibeto-Burman. PhD dissertation, University of California.
  20. Thurgood, Graham & Hector Javkin
    1975 An acoustic explanation of a sound change: *-ap to -o, -at to -e, and *-ak to -æ. Journal of Phonetics3: 161–165.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Watters, David E.
    2002A Grammar of Kham. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511486883
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486883 [Google Scholar]
  22. 2003a Kham. In Graham Thurgood & Randy J. LaPolla (eds), The Sino-Tibetan languages [Routledge Language Family Series], 683–704. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. 2003b Some preliminary observations on the relationship between Kham, Magar (and Chepang). Paper presented at the36th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics. La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. 2004A Dictionary of Kham: Taka Dialect. (A Tibeto-Burman Language of Nepal). Kathmandu: Tribhuvan University.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 2005 An overview of Kham-Magar languages and dialects. In Yogendra Yadava , Govinda Bhattarai , Ram Raj Lohani , Balaram Prasain & Krishna Parajuli (eds), Contemporary Issues in Nepalese Linguistics, 339–374. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Wilde, Christopher Pekka
    2011 Observations on the phonology of Gamāle Kham. Himalayan Linguistics10(1): 273–290.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. 2016 Gamale Kham phonology revisited, with Devanagari-based orthography and lexicon. Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistic Society9: 130–199.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. 2017 A phonological comparison of Gamale, Sheram and Ghusbang – three Kham varieties. Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistic Society10(1): 67–90.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Gamale Kham; labial-palatal approximant; sound change; Tibeto-Burman
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