Get access

An Internal Reconstruction of Tibetan Stem Alternations

Authors


  •  The author wishes to thank Nathan Hill and two anonymous reviewers for comments on this paper.

CRLAO/CNRS
EHESS
131 boulevard Saint-Michel,
75005 Paris, France
Email: rgyalrongskad@gmail.com

Abstract

Tibetan verbal morphology differs considerably from that of other Sino-Tibetan languages. Most of the vocalic and consonantal alternations observed in the verbal paradigms remain unexplained after more than a hundred years of investigation: the study of historical Tibetan morphology would seem to have reached an aporia. This paper proposes a new model, explaining the origin of the alternations in the Tibetan verb as the remnant of a former system of directional prefixes, typologically similar to the ones still attested in the Rgyalrongic languages.

Ancillary