Khroskyabs language

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Khroskyabs
Lavrung
bósʁæi
Native toChina
RegionSichuan
Native speakers
(50,000 cited 1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3jiq
Glottologguan1266[2]

Khroskyabs (previously known as Lavrung, native name in the Wobzi dialect: bósʁæi "Tibetan language", native name in the Guanyinqiao dialect: kərə́sji "Tibetan language",[3] Chinese: 绰斯甲语; pinyin: Chuòsījiǎ yǔ) is a Rgyalrongic language of China.[3] It is called Guanyinqiao in Ethnologue after a town in western Sichuan where one dialect of the language is spoken, Thugsrje Chenbo (Wylie: thugs rje chen bo). It has been referred to as Lavrung in previous publications.

Dialects[edit]

Lai (2017, p. 15) identifies two major branches of Khroskyabs: Core Khroskyabs dialects and Njorogs (业隆话). Core-Khroskyabs dialects are further divided into Phosul and Thugschen. The Thugschen dialects include Siyuewu (斯跃武), Wobzi (俄热), 'Brongrdzong (木尔宗) and Guanyinqiao (观音桥).

  • 'Jorogs
  • Core Khroskyabs dialects
    • Phosul
    • Thugschen
      • Siyuewu
      • Eastern Thugschen
        • Wobzi
        • Thugs-'Brong
          • 'Brongrdzong
          • Guanyinqiao

Phonology[edit]

Onsets[edit]

The Wobzi dialect has 42 consonantal phonemes, shown in the table below. Other Khroskyabs dialects exhibit similar systems.

Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Alveopalatal Palatal Velar Uvular
Occlusive Voiced b d dz ɟ g
voiceless p t ts c k q
aspirated tsʰ tʂʰ tɕʰ
nasal m n ɲ ŋ (ɴ)
Continuant voiced w l z r ʑ j, (ɥ) ɣ ʁ
voiceless ɬ s ʂ ɕ ç (x) χ

Khroskyabs dialects present complex consonant clusters. A consonant cluster in Wobzi is composed of three parts, preinitial(s), initial and medial, which can be tested through a partial reduplication process. 757 consonant clusters are attested according to Lai (2017, p. 101). A single cluster can contain up to six consonants in a row: ʁjnlzdə̂ "to be made to buy for one's benefit".

The ordering of preinitials in a consonant cluster follows a language-specific sonority hierarchy (Lai 2013):

ʁ- > j- > N-, m- > v-, > r-, l- > s-, z-

Rhymes[edit]

Wobzi Khroskyabs has 9 vowel phonemes, listed in the table below. One diphthong is found, æi. Most Core-Khroskyabs dialects have similar vowel systems. In Phosul, a complete series of velarised consonants are attested (Huang 2007, p. 166): , , , , ʌˠ.

Front Central Back
Close i u
Near-close (ɪ) (ʊ)
Close-mid e o
Mid ə/əˠ
Near-open æ
Open a ɑ

Except for conjugated verb forms, Khroskyabs does not allow complex codas. In the Wobzi dialect, complex codas are prohibited even in conjugated verbs. The rhymes attested in Wobzi Khroskyabs are listed in the table below, with forms in conjugated verbs between parentheses.

-m -v -t -n -l -r -j-
i -iv (-in) (-ɪj) (-ɑŋ)
e -em -en -er (-æj) (-ɑŋ)
æ -æm -æv -æt -æn -æl -ær (-æj) (-ɑŋ)
a (-an) (-aj) (-aŋ)
ɑ -ɑv (-ɑn) (-ɑl) -ɑr (-æj) -ɑɣ -ɑŋ
ə -əm -əv -ət -ən -əl -ər (-ɪj) -əɣ (-ʊŋ)
o -ov -ot -on -ol -or (-oj) (-ʊŋ)
u (-un) -ur (-uj) (-ʊŋ)
əˠ (-əˠn)
æi (-æin) (-æɪj) (-ɑŋ)

Tones[edit]

Two tones are attested in Khroskyabs, a high (H) tone, noted σ́, and a high-falling (HL) tone, noted σ̂. Some minimal pairs in Wobzi Khroskyabs are illustrated in the table below.

H Gloss HL Gloss
jlé rabbit jlê flute
ʁbɑ́ɣ to explode ʁbɑ̂ɣ to be numerous
sʁǽi language, sound sʁæ̂i to return, to give back

Only one syllable in a phonological word can bear a tone, and the surface tones of the other syllable(s), if existent, are derived from the tone-bearing syllable.

Grammar[edit]

Noun phrase[edit]

Number[edit]

Khroskyabs dialects present two number markers, =ne for dual and =ɟi for plural: kɑpə̂=ne (book=du) "two books", kɑpə̂=ɟi (book=pl) "(more than two) books". Like many Asian languages, number markers are prohibited when a numeral is present:

kɑpə̂(*=ne) jnæ̂
book(*=DU) two
"two books"
kɑpə̂(*=ɟi) çsə̂m
book(*=PL) three
"three books"

Khroskyabs presents a rich array of classifiers. A non-exhaustive list of classifiers in the Wobzi dialects is shown below (with the numeral prefix ə̂- "one").

Classifier Gloss
ə̂-lo general classifier
ə̂-ʁæi humans
ə̂-rgɑɣ round objects, humans
ə̂-ɬpʰa thin and flat objects
ə̂-gi long objects
ə̂-bjæ clothes
ə̂-χpʰo trees

Vocative[edit]

Vocative is formed by assigning a high-falling tone to the penultimate syllable of a noun phrase.

Noun phrase Vocative form
tʂɑɕî 'Bkrashis' tʂɑ̂ɕi
lŋá=ɟi (child=PL) 'children' lŋâ=ɟi
vluvzɑ̂ŋdondʐəv 'Blobzang Dondrub' vluvzɑŋdôndʐəv

Case marking[edit]

A series of enclitic case markers are attested in Khroskyabs. The Wobzi case markers are listed in the table below.

Case marker Function
=ji genitive, allative
=kʰe dative, ablative
=ɣə ergative, instrumental
=sce comitative
=ʁɑ locative (general)
=sci locative (general)
=tʰɑ locative (surface)
=lɑ locative (inside)
=gə locative (inside)
=vi locative (under)
=çtʰu locative (lower part of places)
=spərə locative (be covered)
=kʰu locative (be wrapped in)

Verbal template[edit]

The Khroskyabs verb exhibits a templatic morphology with a strong prefixing preference, which means every affix is obligatorily positioned in its own slot which is impossible to change. The table below shows the verbal template of Wobzi Khroskyabs (Lai 2017, p. 293).

-11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2
sə̂a- æ-, næ-, etc. u- mə- zə̂- ʁ- N- v- s- ʁjæ̂- NOUN VERB -ŋ, -j, -n -Cɑ/u
sə̂b- ɑ̂- tə- z-
ə̂- ɕə-
Inflectional Derivational Stem Inflectional Reduplication

Prefixes: -1: Incorporated noun; -2: Reflexive ʁjæ̂; -3: Causative s- and z-; -4: Causative v-; -5: Autobenefactive N-; -6: Intransitive-passive ʁ-; -7: Conditional zə̂-; -8: Negative mə-/mɑ-/mæ-/tə-, interrogative ɕə-; -9: Inverse u-, irrealis ɑ̂-', interrogative ə̂-;-10: Orientational prefixes æ-, næ-, kə-, nə-, læ-, və-, rə-; -11 Progressive sə̂a-, superlative sə̂b-.

Suffixes: 1: Person endings: -ŋ, -j, -n; 2: Reduplication

In the following subsections, some characteristics of the affixes are presented.

Compatibility[edit]

The superlative prefix sə̂b- is compatible with stative verbs and only very few dynamic verbs: sə̂b-tsʰa (SUPERL-be.good1) 'best', but *sə̂b-və (SUPERL-go1).

Negative has four allomorphs. mə- is used when no other prefix precedes: mə-tsʰâ (NEG1-be.good) (it is not good); mæ- is used when an orientational prefix precedes: næ-mæ-tsʰâ (IPFV.PST-NEG2-be.good1); mɑ- is used in perfective or past forms of a verb that prohibits the use of orientational prefixes in such situations: mɑ-vdé (NEG3-see2) '(s)he did not see' (vdê 'to see' does not allow any orientational prefix in past form); tə- is used in irrealis situations, imperative, jussive and conditional with ɑ̂- (not zə̂-): æ-tə-dzî-n (IMP-NEG4-eat1-2) 'Don't eat!'; ɑ̂-tə-dzi (JUSS-NEG4-eat1) 'Let her/him not eat. '

The interrogative prefixes ə̂- and ɕə- cannot coexist.

The irrealis prefix ɑ̂- and the conditional prefix zə̂- cannot coexist.

Causative s-[edit]

The causative prefix s- in Wobzi Khroskyabs undergoes various morphophonological processes, including voicing assimilation, lateral dissimilation, affrication, metathesis and lateral assimilation.

Voicing assimilation: s- becomes voiced z- before voiced stops and stays voiceless before voiceless consonants and sonorants.

s- + kʰɑ̂ 'to give' → s-kʰɑ̂ 'to cause to give'

s- + 'to wear' → z-gí 'to cause to wear'

s- + 'to be hundry' → s-mó 'to cause to be hundry

Lateral dissimilation: s- becomes l- or ɬ- (depending on the voicing of the following consonant) when it precedes dental fricatives and affricates.

s- + sɑ̂ 'to kill' → ɬ-sɑ̂ 'to cause to kill'

s- + dzî 'to eat' → l-dzî 'to cause to eat'

Affrication: Affrication is not productive in Wobzi Khroskyabs. Its trace can be found in the causativisation of the verb rʑə̂ 'to wash', l-dʑə̂ 'to cause to watch', in which the fricative ʑ- becomes an affricate, dʑ-.

Metathesis: There are two types of metatheses in Wobzi Khroskyabs, prefix ordering metathesis and vCVr metathesis.

The prefix ordering metathesis follows the sonority hierarchy of the preinitials. If the prefix s- is to be added to a verb stem already containing preinitials that ranks higher in the sonority hierarchy, it must be metathesised.

s- + ʁbɑ́ɣ 'to explode' → ʁ⟨z⟩bɑ́ɣ 'to cause to explode

s- + jbə̂v 'to be swollen' → j⟨z⟩bə̂v 'to cause to be swollen'

The preinitials l- and r-, N- and m- drop when the causative prefix s- is added, while the case is optional for the preinitials j- and v-.

s- + mkʰæ̂ 'to be expert' → m⟨s⟩kʰæ̂s-kʰæ̂ 'to cause to be expert'

s- + rlǽ 'to peel' → r⟨s⟩lǽs-lǽ 'to cause to peel'

s- + ɬqʰǽl 'to be dirty' → ɬ⟨s⟩qʰǽls-qʰǽl 'to cause to be dirty'

vCVr metathesis, as its name suggests, concerns verbs with v- as preinitial and -r as coda.

s- + vzɑ́r 'to be spicy' → l-zɑ́v 'to cause to be spicy'

vcVr metathesis is a Wobzi-specific process, not found in other Khroskyabs dialects.

• Some verbs with a falling tone undergo tone change into a high one when causative s- is applied. The process is not productive.

s- + tʰê 'to drink' → s-tʰé 'to cause to drink' s- + nɑ̂r 'to burn' → s-nɑ́r 'to cause to burn' s- + brê 'to be loud'→ z-bré 'to play (instrument)'

• The causative form of the verb çtə̂ 'to be short' is s-tə́m 'to shorten', with an additional -m coda, which may be the reflex of an old stem alternation.

Autobenefactive N-[edit]

Autobenefactive N- appears as an archiphoneme having several surface forms according to the phonological environment, especially the place of articulation.

N- + pʰó 'to cut' → m-pʰó 'to harvest'

N- + dʑə̂dʑə 'to drag' → n-dʑə̂dʑə 'to drag for oneself'

N- + cʰǽ 'to be big' → ɲ-cʰǽ 'to grow'

N- + kʰú 'to wear (shoe, sock)' → ŋ-kʰú 'to wear for oneself'

N- + 'to pull out' → ɴ-qá 'to pull out for oneself'

Incorporation[edit]

Noun incorporation is attested in Wobzi Khroskyabs as well as other Khroskyabs dialects. The incorporational construction is mainly formed by a nominal part (in its full form or Status Constructus form) and a verbal part. In many cases, a denominal prefix is attached to incorporational forms.

fɕî 'tooth' + 'to be small' → fɕîze 'to be young'

N- 'denominal prefix' + tɕʰæ- (Status Constructus of tɕʰî 'road') + fsê 'to lead' → ntɕʰæ̂fse 'to guide'

s- 'denominal prefix' + kʰrə̂m 'discipline' + ɕǽ 'to go' → skʰrəmɕǽ 'to scold'

Usually, the nominal part precedes the verbal part, but one example with the verbal part preceding the nominal part is attested:

N- 'denominal prefix' + tsʰə̂r 'to milk' + 'milk' → ntsʰərlú 'to be good at lactating (cows)'

Argument indexation[edit]

Khroskyabs dialects distinguish transitive verbs from intransitive verbs unambiguously. Argument indexation presents two patterns, the intransitive pattern and the transitive pattern.

The intransitive paradigm in Wobzi Khroskyabs is illustrated in the table below. There are three suffixes, first person singular , first person non-singular (or plural) -j, and second person -n. Third person is unmarked. The subject argument agrees with verb.

Person Suffix
1sg Σ-(ɑ)ŋ
1pl Σ-j
2 Σ-n
ŋô næ-qʰ-ɑ̂ŋ
1SG PST-laugh.II-1SG
"I laughed."
næ-qʰî-n
2SG PST-laugh.II-2
"You laughed."


The transitive paradigm exhibits a hierarchical alignment. Khroskyabs has a 1>2>3 empathy hierarchy. In terms of suffixes, within SAP (Speech-act participants, usually first and second persons) arguments, the verb indexes the P (patientive argument), otherwise it indexes the SAP argument, if exists. The inverse prefix u- occurs when the P ranks higher than the A, as well as almost all 3→3 scenarios with a TAM prefix on the verb. In all inverse and 3→3 scenarios, the ergative marker =ɣə must occur on the A. The transitive paradigm in Wobzi Khroskyabs is shown in the table below.

P
1sg 1pl 2 3
A 1sg Σ-n Σ-(ɑ)ŋ
1pl Σ-n Σ-j
2 u-Σ-(ɑ)ŋ u-Σ-j Σ-n
3 u-Σ-n (u)-Σ

Below are some examples of the direct configuration:

ŋô kə-rdû-n
1SG 2SG PST-go.to.meet.II-2
"I went to meet you."
ŋô ætə̂ kə-rd-ʊ̂ŋ
1SG 3SG PST-go.to.meet.II-1SG
"I went to meet her."
ætə̂ kə-rd-ʊ̂ŋ
2SG 3SG PST-go.to.meet.II-2
"You went to meet her."

The inverse configuration:

nû=ɣə ŋô k-u-rd-ʊ̂ŋ
2SG=ERG 1SG PST-INV-go.to.meet.II-1SG
"You went to meet me."
ætə̂=ɣə ŋô k-u-rd-ʊ̂ŋ
3SG=ERG 1SG PST-INV-go.to.meet.II-1SG
"I went to meet her."
ætə̂=ɣə k-u-rdú-n
3SG=ERG 2SG PST-INV-go.to.meet.II-2
"She went to meet you."

In 3→3 scenarios, if there is a TAM prefix, the inverse marker must occur, otherwise it does not surface.

tʂɑɕî=ɣə srú dzî
Bkrashis=ERG meat eat.I
"Bkrashis eats meat."
tʂɑɕî=ɣə srú u-dzí
Bkrashis=ERG meat PST.INV-eat.II
"Bkrashis ate meat."

Argument indexation in Wobzi Khroskyabs is largely simplified compared to other Khroskyabs dialects. Guanyinqiao, Siyuewu and 'Brongrdzong all present the distinction between singular, dual and plural for first and second persons. The Siyuewu transitive paradigm is illustrated below.

P
1sg 1du 1pl 2sg 2du 2pl 3
A 1sg Σ-n Σ-z Σ-ɲ Σ-(æ)ŋ
1du Σ-ɣ
1pl Σ-j
2sg INV-Σ-(æ)ŋ INV-Σ-ɣ INV-Σ-j Σ-n
2du Σ-z
2pl Σ-ɲ
3 INV-Σ-n INV-Σ-z INV-Σ-ɲ (INV)-Σ

Stem alternation[edit]

Most Khroskyabs verbs present two stems, a few verbs present three stems, and only a handful have only one stem. Roughly speaking, Stem 1 is used in non-past, Stem 2 in past, and Stem 3 in irrealis contexts. If a verb presents only two stems (without Stem 3), the functions of Stem 3 is covered by Stem 1; and if a verb presents only Stem 1, Stem 1 covers the functions of both Stem 2 and Stem 3. Some verbs may only present Stem 2.

Strategies[edit]

In all the Khroskyabs dialects known to us, there are generally 5 strategies of stem alternation: tone alternation (glottal inversion), rime alternation, aspration alternation and suppletion. The following description is mainly based on the Wobzi dialect, if not specifically mentioned differently.

Tone alternation is by far the most common strategy between Stem 1 and Stem 2. For monosyllabic verbs, a simple inversion between the high tone and the high falling tone is observed. If the original tone is high, the Stem 2 will be assigned a falling tone and if the original tone is falling, the Stem 1 will be assigned a high tone.

'to put on (Stem 1)' → 'to put on (Stem 2)'

kʰɑ̂ 'to give (Stem 1)' → kʰɑ́ 'to give (Stem 2)'

As for polysyllabic verbs, there are two situations. If the last syllable has a high tone, it will change to a falling tone in Stem 2, otherwise a high tone is assigned to the last syllable in Stem 2.

ɴqʰɑrŋɑ́ 'to expel (Stem 1)' → ɴqʰɑrŋɑ̂ 'to expel (Stem 2)'

tɕə̂rə 'to tear (Stem 1)' → tɕərə́ 'to tear (Stem 2)'

ndʐəvɑ̂ 'to walk (Stem 1)' → ndʐəvɑ́ 'to walk (Stem 2)'

Rime alternation is also widely attested. Rime alternation is usually combined with tone alternation.

In many cases, only the vowel is changed in Stem 2.

'to release (Stem 1)' → 'to release (Stem 2)'

mɑ́ɣ 'not to be (Stem 1)' → mə̂ɣ 'not to be (Stem 2)'

In some other cases, the rime in Stem 2 is changed to -əɣ in spite of the original rime.

fsǽ 'to be full (Stem 1)' → fsə̂ɣ 'to be full (Stem 2)'

ndzræ̂v 'to suck (Stem 1)' → ndzrə́ɣ 'to suck (Stem 2)'

Some Stem 2 forms present open syllables, while their corresponding Stem 1 forms are closed syllables.

vʑǽr 'to shave (Stem 1)' → vʑî 'to shave (Stem 2)'

Aspiration alternation is rare. It is only attested in (rə-)tô 'to come (Stem 1)', whose Stem 2 is (rə-)tʰó.

Suppletion is found in three-stem verbs. These verbs are motion verbs or conveyance verbs. See the table below.

Stem 1 Stem 2 Stem 3 Gloss
(rə-)və̂ (rə-)ɕə̂ (rə-)ɕǽ to go
(rə-)tô (rə-)tʰód (rə-)və̂, (rə-)vjî to come
(rə-)vǽ (rə-)zə́m (rə-)zə̂m to bring
(rə-)tʰǽ (rə-)tʰə̂ɣ (rə-)vǽ to take

Functions[edit]

Verb stems usually combine with orientational prefixes to express different properties of tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality. Stem 1 is employed in non-past contexts, Stem 2 in past and perfective contexts and Stem 3 in irrealis contexts.

A verb in Stem 1 can be used without an orientational prefix for a generic fact. It can also combine with the orientational prefix rə- in a sensory or inferential non-past context.

sú=tə rnɑbɑ̂ dzî
cattle=DEF grass eat.I
"Cattle eat grass."
sú=tə rnɑbɑ̂ r-u-dzî
cattle=DEF grass NPST-INV-eat.I
"The cattle are eating/will eat grass."

Stative verbs distinguish past imperfective from perfective, while dynamic verbs present only a general past tense. Stem 2 is required in these situations. Examples of the Stem 2 of the stative verb ndæ̂ 'to like' is illustrated below.

cə̂=ɣə tʂɑɕî n-u-ndə̂ɣ
3SG=ERG Bkrashis IPFV.PST-INV-like.II
"He liked Bkrashis."
cə̂=ɣə tʂɑɕî u-ndə̂ɣ'
3SG=ERG Bkrashis PFV-INV-like.II
"He turned out to like Bkrashis."

Dynamic verbs do not make the distinction between imperfective and perfective, therefore, their meaning in Stem 2 depends on the context.

cə̂ grə̂mde kə-ɕə̂
3SG Thugschen PST-go.II
"He has gone/was going to Thugschen."


References[edit]

  1. ^ Khroskyabs at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Khroskyabs". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Lai, Yunfan (August 2014). "The Person Agreement System Of Wobzi Lavrung (Rgyalrongic, Tibeto-Burman)". Transactions of the Philological Society: 1–15. doi:10.1111/1467-968X.12051.