On the origin of Gamale Kham labial-palatal approximants
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.
Keywords: Tibeto-Burman, Gamale Kham, labial-palatal approximant, sound change
This article is currently available as a sample article.
Published online: 03 November 2017
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