Lesson Two 29

example, ལམ་ཁ་ la̲m + k ā = la̲ŋga. A nd disy llabic compounds in whichi̅ the first
syllable ends i n a ན་ and the second begi ns with a "p" or "b", typically pick up a "m"
sound. For example ཕྱིན་པ་ chīn + bā = chīmbə.
y ou may have noticed that occasionally the vowel i n the first or second syllable
of disyllabic compounds is different than when pronounced alone. For example, i n the
word དགེ་འདུན་ gi̲ndün (monk) , the ge̲ (དགེ་) had changed to gi̲Such changes are a result of
what li nguistically i s k now n as vowel haurnlony------i.e., a pattern wherei n vowels i n
successive syllables should be members of the same class of vowels.
In Tibetan there are two classes of vowels hi gh vowels (ə, i , u, ü) and l ow vowels
(a, o, e, ɛ, ɔ, and ö) . l
Complete vowel harnlony requires that all syl lables in a word have vowels from
the same class. Spok en Tibetan follows this------more or less------i n di syllabic words, with the
vowel i n the first syllable changi ng to match that i n the second sy llable. Thus, the "ge" i n
the word "monk " (དགེ་འདུན་) changes to "gi" because the "u" i n "dun" is a hi gh vowel.
Vrowels haurnlony shifts generally occur as follows
a̅ ə
eor ɛ ̅ i
ö̅ üi̅ ̅ i̅Vowel
i̅Vowel haurnlony, however, has many exceptions aund cannoti̅be applied by rote to
all disyllabic words. Nevertheless, k nowi ng th at it exists will explai n why Tibetans,
sometimes pronounce words differently in isolation than when they are joi ned to other
syllables.
2.6 Exi ste ntial verbs and sentences
i̅Exi stential verbs and sentences express exi stence aund l ocati on ("there is, '" \'\'there
exi sts") . Like li nki ng verbs, they do not i ndicate tenseor num ber, and i ndic ate person ཚེ
only somewhat equivocally . The three basic existential verbs are ཡོད་པ་རེད་, འིདུག་, and ཡོད་
The latter is generally used for first person constructions as well as for dependent clauses,
but can also be used with third person subjects. The other two aue nornlally used only for
third personconstructions.
There are also several subtle differences between these verbs that should be
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[High and low here refer to therelative height of the tongue.
རྞ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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