Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


Verbal Phrases in Lhasa Tibetan—II

R. K. Sprigg

Part I concluded with the suggestion that certain general-phonetic features, those of rounding and spreading, and those of vowel closure, might profitably be given a prosodic statement for the word as a whole, as:—

I. a 3-term system: y/w/ә

II. a 2-term system: o/c

A given word might thus be assigned to a prosodic category, to the ‘ y ’, the ‘ w ’, or the ‘ ә ’ term, and treated as a ‘ y word ’, ‘ w word ’, or ‘ neutral word ’ (yW, wW, әW). Similarly a given word might be assigned to either term of the closure system, and treated as a ‘ close word ’ or as an ‘ open word ’ (cW, oW). Theoretically it is a matter of indifference which of the two systems should be stated first. Since, however, they cannot be stated simultaneously in practice, the method of statement adopted here gives priority to the w/y/ә system; the exponents of ‘ w ’, ‘ y ’, and ‘ ә ’ are stated in turn. The o/c system is considered within the framework of these three categories, the exponents of o/c being given for wW, yW, and әW in turn, immediately after the exponents of ‘ w ’, ‘ y ’, and ‘ ә ’ respectively.