Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Articles

Alternation of final vowel with final dental nasal or plosive in Tibetan

Walter Simon

As was pointed out in the ‘Addenda’ (by A. H. Francke, assisted by W. Simon) to the 1929 reprint of Jäschke's Tibetan grammar (pp. 120–1), we observe an alternation of final vowel with final dental nasal or plosive in a number of closely related words. The examples adduced show sometimes a tripartite scheme, a final vowel in the case of verbs, a dental nasal in the case of adjectives, and a dental (voiced) plosive in the case of nouns, as e.g. dro-ba ‘to be warm’, dron-po (or -mo) ‘warm’, and drod ‘heat’. A bipartite pattern, which is in fact more frequent, has also been observed and illustrated by a few examples, such as za-ba ‘to eat’ and zan ‘food’.