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On the Development and Structure of the Tibetan Toneme-System (Summary)

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Chapter Summary

The Tibetan tone consists of pitch and flexion. Tibetan dialects can be grouped according to the presence or absence of pitch. The Tibetan morpheme has to be segmented into seven positions. The Tibetan preradicals disappeared through spirantization, assimilation and gradual convergence. Pitch became phonematically distinctive after the disappearence of the preradicals. Pitch depends on the voiced or voiceless character of the radical which in turn was changed on the influence of the disappearance of the preradicals. The disappearance of the finals caused a change in the vowel-system. Length, nasality and palatalization appeared as complementary factors, closeness seems to join this triad. The question arises whether flexion is, and if so in which way, connected with the disappearance of the finals.

Keywords:flexion; pitch; Tibetan Toneme-system



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