Lesson Two 27
2.3 Slot2 (suprafixedletters) ར་, ལ་, and ས་ i̅ i̅ i̅
These three consonants auffix ontop of the "root" letter and function identically.
When they are joi ned to hi gh tone root letters, the syllable remai ns high tone. When they
are joi ned to the following 4 low tone consonants ང་ ཉ་ ན་ མ་ ་, the l ow tone root letters
become hi gh tone. For example
མ་ རྨ་ ནག་ སྣག་ ང་ ལྔ་ ཉ་ རྙིང་
ma̲ māna̲g nāg ŋa̲ ŋāña̲ ñi ŋ
rnother sore black i nk Ifive fi sh old
These changes take precedence over the sl ot lletters.
When these suprafixed consonants are joi ned with the other low tone consonants
the tone does not ch a nge------it remai ns low. For example, སྒོ་ i s pronounced low tone, go̲,
and རྡོ་ is pronounced do̲.
2.4 ExerciseWrite the pronu nciation of the foll owi ng sy llables
123456 ཚེ་ 789
བསད་ དགུང་ མཁས་ གནང་ སྙིང་ དགེ་ མི་ རློན་ རྗེ་
10 11121314151617.18
ཁྱིམ་ རྩམ་ རྟ་ ཞབས་ ཟས་ གྱི་ བྱམས་ དཔོན་ ནང་
2.5 The pronunciation of disyllabic compounds
The pronunciation of a disyllabic word is not simply the sum of the pronunciation
of the two syllables. One or both of the syllablesare usually altered, and the manner i n
which these alterations occur are complicated. A lthough there are basic rules for these
alterations, they are rather cumbersome and too complex for a textbook of this type.
Moreover, there are numerous exceptions. Consequently, only the basic pronunciation
rules will be i ncluded in this text. The rest will have to be learned on a word-byword
basi s.
l. Tone i n the first syllable of disyllabic compou nds rem ai ns the sam e as when
that syllable is pronounced alone. High tone in the second syllable, however, becomes a
midtone --- lower than hi gh but higher than low. For example, with དམག་ས་ m āgsa (a
battleground) , the pronunciation of the second sy llable------ས་------is not written as high tone
(sā) , but lefti̅unmarked (sa) , indicating thatit is neither high tone norlow tone, butrather
somewhere in between------a mid tone. Similarly, syllables following a low tone consonant
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