|शेर्वी तम्ङे, śērwī tamṅē,|
ཤར་པའི་སྐད་ཡིག, shar pa'i skad yig
'Sherpa' in Devanagari and Tibetan scripts
|Native to||Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet|
|170,000 (2001 & 2011 census)|
Official language in
Sherpa (also Sharpa, Xiaerba, Sherwa) is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim, mainly by the Sherpa. About 200,000 speakers live in Nepal (2001 census), some 20,000 in Sikkim (1997) and some 800 in Tibetan Autonomous Region (1994). Sherpa is a subject-object-verb (SOV) language. It is written using either the Devanagari or Tibetan script.
- Stop sounds /p, t̪, ʈ, k/ can be unreleased [p̚, t̪̚, ʈ̚, k̚] in word-final position.
- Palatal sounds /c cʰ ɟ/ can neutralize to velar sounds [k kʰ ɡ] when preceding /i/.
- /n/ can become a retroflex nasal [ɳ] when preceding a retroflex stop.
- /p/ can have an allophone of [ɸ] when occurring in fast speech.
- Vowel sounds /i, u/ have the allophones [ɪ, ʊ] when between consonants and in closed syllables.
There are four distinct tones; high /v́/, falling /v̂/, low /v̀/, rising /v̌/. Mid tones are unmarked.
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Some grammatical aspects of Sherpa are as follows:
- Nouns are defined by morphology when a bare noun occurs in the genitive and this extends to the noun phrase.[incomprehensible] They are defined syntactically by co-occurrence with the locative clitic and by their position in the noun phrase (NP) after demonstratives.
- Demonstratives are defined syntactically by their position first in the NP directly before the noun.
- Quantifiers: Number words occur last in the noun phrase with the exception of the definite article.
- Adjectives occur after the noun in the NP and morphologically only take genitive marking when in construct with a noun.
- Verbs may morphologically be distinguished by differing or suppletive roots for the perfective, imperfective, and imperative. They occur last in a clause before the verbal auxiliaries.
- Verbal auxiliaries occur last in a clause.
- Postpositions occur last in a postpositional NP.
The following table lists the days of the week, which are derived from the Tibetan language ("Pur-gae").
|Sunday||ŋi`ma ( / ŋ / is the sound Ng')|
- Sherpa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Solu-Khumbu Sherpa". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- "Sherpa". Ethnologue. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- Graves, Thomas E. (2007). The Phonetics and Phonology of the Sherpa Language.
- Himali Sherpa:sherpa Culture dictionary
- Sherpa-English and English-Sherpa Dictionary available online
- Sherpa dictionary Print edition
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