Kham language

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Kham
Native toNepal
RegionRapti Zone, Rolpa and Rukum Districts
Dhaulagiri Zone, Baglung District, Karnali
EthnicityWestern Magar
Native speakers
210,000 (2011 census)[1]
Devanagari
Official status
Official language in
No official status
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
kif – Eastern Parbate Kham
kgj – Gamale Kham
kip – Sheshi Kham
kjl – Western Parbate Pang
Glottologkham1286
ELPGamale Kham
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Kham (Nepali: खाम भाषा)—narrowly defined—is a complex of Sino-Tibetan, specifically Magaric languages spoken natively in the highlands of the Rolpa and Rukum districts of Rapti and the westernmost part of Baglung district in Dhawalagiri Zone and Karnali region by western clans of the Kham Magar tribes, called collectively western Khams.[citation needed] Randy LaPolla (2003) proposes that Kham Magar and Dhut Magar may be part of a larger "Rung" group.[citation needed] However, both may ultimately go for separate ethnic identity as they have distinct linguistic and cultural barriers.

Geographical distribution[edit]

Ethnologue lists the following location information for the varieties of Kham.

Eastern Parbate Kham (dialects: Bhujel Kham, Nishel Kham) is spoken in the following villages of Baglung District, Dhawalagiri Zone.

  • Nishel dialect: Nisi, Bhalkot, and Budhathok villages
  • Bhujel dialect: Kuku, Diza, Kang, Masbang, Musuri, and Sukurdung villages

Western Parbate Kham (dialects: Takale, Maikoti, Mahatale, Lukumel, Wale, Thabangi)

Taka-Shera is considered to be the center of the Western Parbate Kham variety.

Gamale Kham (dialects: Tamali, Ghusbanggi)

Gamale Kham is spoken in the western hills of Gam Khola, in Gam, Jhyalgung, Chalbang, Tamali, Dangadhara, Sheram, Ghusbang, Huiching, Guwakholagau, Maulabang, and Kuipadhara villages.

Sheshi Kham (dialects: Tapnanggi, Jangkoti)

  • Western hills of Rolpa District, Rapti Zone: in Jangkot, Kotgaon (Tapnang), Rimsek, Korcabang, Dangdung, Hwama, Dhangsi, Bhabang, and Ghapa villages.

Dialects[edit]

Watters (2002:12) classifies the Kham dialects as follows.

Proto-Kham
  • Sheshi
    • Tapnangi
    • Jangkoti
  • Gamale
    • Tamali
    • Ghusbangi
  • Parbate
    • Eastern Parbate
      • Nishel
      • Bhujel
    • Western Parbate
      • Maikoti
      • Takale (including the Takale, Sheral, Ghumilbangi, Garkhanyel, Koral, and Nakhale village sub-dialects)
      • Lukumel
      • Thabangi
      • Wale

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Taka dialect[2] of Western Parbate Kham has 22 consonant phonemes while Gamale Kham possesses around 29 to 30 consonant phonemes.

Bilabial Alveolar Lateral Palatal Velar Glottal
Plain labial–velar
Nasal voiceless ŋ̊
voiced m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
aspirated
Affricate voiceless t͡s
voiced d͡z
aspirated t͡sʰ
Fricative voiceless s ɬ ç h
voiced z
Rhotic ɾ
Approx. plain l j
labial voiceless ɥ̊ ʍ
voiced ɥ w
  • green phonemes do not occur in Parbate Kham.[2]
  • the phonemes in Light salmon colour appear in Ghusbang and Sheram[3] dialect. All others appear in every Kham dialect.
  • The rhotic /ɾ/ is realized as a trill [r] at the end of words. Otherwise, it is a flap.

Vowels[edit]

Taka dialect of Western Parbate has 25 vowel phonemes.

  Front Central Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
short long nasal short long short long nasal short long nasal short long nasal
Close i ĩː y   ɯ ɯː ɯ̃ː u ũː
Mid e ẽː ø øː ə əː ə̃ː   o õː
Open mid ɛ      
Open   ɐ ɐː ɐ̃ː  

Tone[edit]

See vocal registers.

Writing[edit]

Consonants[edit]

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Deva. ज़[4] झ़ न्ह म्ह व़ ह्ल ह्व ह्व़
trans. z zh nh mh hl hw hẏ
IPA z zV̤ ɥ ɬ ʍ ɥ̊
/kə/ /kʰə/ /ɡə/ /ɡə̤/ /ŋə/
/t͡sə/ /t͡sʰə/ /d͡zə/ /d͡zə̤/ /nə/
/tə/ /tʰə/ /də/ /də̤/ /nə/
/tə/ /tʰə/ /də/ /də̤/ /nə/
/pə/ /pʰə/ /bə/ /bə̤/ /mə/
/jə/ /rə/ /lə/ /wə/
/çə/ /sə/ /sə/ /hə/
क्ष त्र ज्ञ
/t͡sʰə/ /trə/ /ɡjə/

Vowels[edit]

Vowels for Parbate Kham[2]
Devanagari Roman IPA
a ə
ā ɐ
i i
इ़ ü y
ī
u u
उ़ ï ɯ
ū
e e, ɛ
ए़ ø ø
ai əj
o o
au əw
h, ḥ
◌̃ ◌̃ː
◌̃, ṅ, n, ṇ, ñ ◌̃ː, ŋ, n
, . °, , ' ◌ː
ʔ

Vowels for Gamale Kham[edit]

Orthography इ/ई उ/ऊ अं अः अँ ॱअ
Roman a ā i/ī u/ū e ai o au aṃ aḥ ã a'
IPA ə ɐ i u e, ɛ əj o əw ə̃ ə̤ ə̃ əʔ

Reconstruction[edit]

Proto-Kham has been reconstructed by Watters (2002). Proto-Kham reconstructions from Watters (2002: 443-456) are given below.

A. Body parts
  • *r-dzəŋ ~ *b-dzəŋ 'back'
  • *yep 'back (upper)'
  • *phuː 'belly'
  • *dziːh 'blood'
  • *klaŋ 'body'
  • *s-rus 'bone'
  • *nun 'breast'
  • *sək 'breath'
  • *r-mehsiŋ 'buttocks'
  • *r-tso 'cheek'
  • *r-na 'ear'
  • *(ba)r-zut 'egg'
  • *mik 'eye'
  • *s-ŋa 'face'
  • *sot 'fat'
  • *r-sin 'fingernail'
  • *kəŋ 'foot'
  • *r-nihl 'gums'
  • *r-ta 'guts'
  • *muhl 'hair (body)'
  • *p-tsem 'hair (head)'
  • *kut 'hand'
    • *r-la 'the under-arm area; side of the body'
  • *s-r-ŋat 'head'
  • *s-yiŋ 'heart'
  • *b-rəhŋ 'horn'
  • *sya 'animal'
  • *r-khap 'jawbone'
  • *kəl 'kidney'
  • *p-sin 'liver'
  • *yaːh 'mouth'
  • *s-məŋ 'mustache'
  • *r-dehŋ 'neck'
  • *s-nat 'nose'
  • *r-dzihs 'piss'
  • *s-nis 'pus'
  • *b-rəhm 'rib'
  • *p-s-til 'saliva'
  • *kli 'shit'
    • *r-kək 'excrement in the intestine of a slaughtered animal'
  • *s-pum 'shoulder'
  • *r-sa 'sinew'
  • *l-kota 'skin'
  • *r-nahp 'snot'
  • *r-meh 'tail'
  • *r-pihl 'tears'
  • *r-b-yah 'thigh (upper side)'
  • *p-s-le 'tongue'
  • *ha-p-sya 'tooth'
  • *wohs 'vomit'
  • *hwaŋ 'waist'
  • *r-mil ~ *s-mil 'wind pipe'
  • *kər 'wing'
B. Pronouns/kinship terms/nouns referring to humans'
  • *dahpa 'bachelor'
  • *za 'child'
  • *nan 'friend'
  • *b-re 'husband'
  • *dahme 'maiden'
  • *r-min 'name'
  • *r-mi; *ruː 'person'
    • *s-lepa 'man, male human'
    • *miːma 'woman, female human' < *mi 'person' + *ma 'female'
  • *nana 'sister (older)'
  • *nam 'sister (younger)'
  • *nəŋ 'thou'
  • *dzya 'wife'
C. Foodstuff
  • *bəhres 'bread'
  • *tsip 'curry'
  • *r-zəm 'food'
  • *s-ŋən 'herbs'
  • *raŋrəi 'millet'
  • *r-mo 'mushroom'
  • *hek 'parched grain'
  • *tuk 'poison'
  • *(ya)kaŋ 'rice (cooked)'
  • *plima 'wheat'
D. Animal names or animal products
  • *səhr 'antelope'
  • *nim 'bear'
  • *r-pen 'bedbug'
  • *b-zin 'bee'
  • *bwa 'bird'
    • *s-puŋ 'chick'
  • *gəl 'boar (wild)'
  • *b-s-rut 'bug'
  • *s-raŋ 'cat'
  • *har 'cow'
  • *kaːh 'dog'
  • *ŋah 'fish'
  • *tek 'frog'
  • *ra 'goat'
  • *r-ta 'horse'
  • *r-pəti 'leech'
  • *la 'leopard'
  • *syar 'louse'
  • *s-p-yu; *s-p-ya 'monkey'
  • *srəm 'otter'
  • *b-rəhŋ 'pheasant'
  • *wə 'pig'
  • *bi 'rat'
  • *luk 'sheep'
  • *guhl 'snake'
    • *daŋ 'python, constricting snake'
  • *p-s-yap 'squirrel (flying)'
  • *s-kyar 'woodpecker'
  • *p-sən 'wool'
E. Natural objects or phenomena; the inanimate landscape; vegetable and mineral kingdoms
  • *r-plah 'ashes'
  • *kər 'branch'
  • *r-pup 'cave'
  • *la 'day'
    • *tshyam 'a certain day'
  • *b-rih 'dirt'
  • *r-gəm 'earth'
  • *rihm 'evening'
  • *ehŋ 'field'
    • *baŋ 'a field, meadow, bowl shaped valley'
  • *meh 'fire'
  • *p-set 'fruit'
  • *tshi 'grass'
  • *kuŋ 'hole'
  • *dzəhŋ 'iron'
  • *s-la 'leaf'
  • *r-nahm 'low country'
  • *p-s-ya + *hwot 'moon'
  • *goŋ 'mountain'
  • *rik; *mun 'night'
  • *r-wa 'rain'
  • *bəih 'river'
  • *yem 'road'
  • *s-rin 'root'
  • *sa + *pik 'salt'
  • *nup 'set (sun)'
  • *saŋ 'shadow'
  • *nəm 'sky'
  • *mihkut 'smoke' < *meːh 'fire' + *ku 'smoke'
  • *r-pom 'snow'
  • *səro 'star'
  • *r-dzuht 'stick'
  • *luŋ 'stone'
  • *nəmi(y) 'sun'
  • *b-zu 'thorn'
  • *siŋ 'tree'
  • *riːh 'water'
    • *rihmun 'cooking water' < *riːh 'water' + *mun 'warm'
  • *rəhm 'weed'
F. Artifacts and social organization
  • *r-wan 'arrowhead'
  • *r-wa 'axe'
  • *r-beh(k) 'basket'
  • *li 'bow'
  • *tshəm 'bridge'
  • *pəsi(-s) 'broom'
  • *kwa 'cloth'
  • *yahm 'door'
  • *b-rihŋ 'drum'
  • *'gor 'circle'
  • *muhthap 'hearth' < *muh 'burn' + *thap 'hearth'
  • *zihm 'house'
    • *r-bəŋ 'lower storey of house; cattle byre'
  • *khor 'knife'
  • *gur 'load'
  • *tən 'sleeping mat'
  • *b-lo 'large bamboo mat'
  • *tshum 'mortar'
  • *r-gəp 'a small needle'
  • *r-khap 'a large needle'
  • *b-zəhn 'net'
  • *r-gum 'pillow'
  • *gohr 'plow'
  • *b-dza 'pot'
  • *p-sip 'sheath'
  • *tsihŋ 'snare'
  • *gel 'spirit'
  • *naŋkhar; *nam 'village'
  • *ehn 'work'
  • *kum 'yoke'
G. Spatial/directional
  • *glahŋ 'across'
  • *chin 'behind'
  • *khar 'center'
  • *me 'down'
  • *s-ŋa 'front'
  • *thək 'upright'
  • *a-sniŋ 'year'
    • *rta-sniŋ 'last year'
    • *pərniŋ 'next year'
H. Numerals and quantifiers
  • *tə 'one'
  • *nehs 'two'
  • *sohm 'three'
  • *b-zi 'four'
  • *r-ŋa 'five'
I. Verbs of utterance, body position or function
  • *sən; *so 'awaken'
  • *klik 'cry'
  • *eh 'defecate'
  • *si 'die'
  • *b-yi 'fart'
  • *sas 'laugh'
    • *p-s-rat 'to play'
    • *b-s-res 'toy, plaything'
  • *nah 'rest'
  • *tsuŋ 'sit'
  • *r-ŋəhl; *em; *ruk ~ *ru-t 'sleep'
    • *s-ip 'to put to sleep'
  • *p-tshis 'sneeze'
  • *s-paŋ 'speak'
  • *tsyahŋ 'stand'
  • *kəlet 'tickle'
  • *r-dzihs 'urinate'
  • *woh-t 'vomit' < CAUS. of wohs 'to spurt out'
  • *gəhr 'weep'
J. Verbs of motion
  • *kles 'arrive'
  • *rə-t 'bring'
  • *plu-s 'climb'
  • *huŋ 'come'
  • *plu-s 'emerge'
    • *s-plu-t 'cause to emerge, expel'
  • *te-s 'fall'
  • *s-bur 'fly'
  • *z-ba 'go'
  • *b-la 'graze'
  • *mohŋ 'hide'
  • *zok 'run'
K. Verbs of emotion, cognition, perception
  • *r-məŋ 'dream'
  • *p-tshet 'fear'
  • *s-meŋ 'forget'
  • *that 'hear'
    • *thas 'to be heard, audible'
  • *sən 'know'
  • *r-ses 'something, to know how'
  • *r-sək 'proud'
  • *rəhŋ 'see'
    • *p-tsyu 'to look'
  • *s-ŋər; *s-nəm 'smell'
  • *b-ris 'tingle'
L. Stative verbs with human patients
  • *məhŋ 'drunk'
  • *sot 'fat'
  • *kre 'hunger'
  • *na 'ill'
  • *so 'itchy'
  • *tshaŋ 'pure'
  • *tsos 'thirst'
M. Stative verbs with non-human patients
  • *pək 'bad'
  • *li 'be'
  • *p-se 'bear fruit'
  • *s-ta-s 'become'
  • *ka 'bitter'
  • *pak 'broken'
  • *mom 'bud'
  • *p-set 'bud'
  • *r-pu-s 'burst'
  • *zihm; *gim 'cold'
  • *s-ta 'collapsed'
  • *s-kluŋ 'detach'
  • *thəŋ 'dried'
  • *yək 'full'
  • *p-tsa 'good'
  • *s-len 'greasy'
  • *piŋ 'green'
  • *gis < *s-lis 'heavy'
  • *s-gwaŋ 'hole'
  • *b-rah 'hot'
  • *wyi 'leak'
  • *bom 'light'
  • *s-lo; *b-re 'long'
  • *dzöhl 'loose'
  • *mah 'lost'
  • *s-dem ~ *them 'low'
  • *khət 'matched'
  • *sahr 'new'
  • *gyahm 'red'
  • *mihn 'ripe'
  • *tsik 'rotten'
  • *lum 'round'
  • *p-tsha 'sharp'
  • *tun 'short'
  • *zim 'small'
  • *b-sir 'sour'
  • *tuk 'spicy'
  • *sli-s 'stale'
  • *b-rehk 'sweet'
  • *ruhŋ 'thick'
  • *plek 'thin'
    • *wa 'to be thin (esp. of boards)'
  • *mun 'warm'
  • *pal 'white'
    • *plaŋ 'bright, illuminated'
N. Action verbs with human agent
  • *s-po 'beat'
  • *ŋih 'beg'
  • *kəi 'bite'
  • *s-mut 'blow'
    • *phut 'to blow with bellows'
  • *r-lap 'bore'
  • *s-kle(t) 'break'
  • *hip 'burn'
  • *r-duhp 'butt'
  • *ləhŋ 'buy'
    • *b-lot 'to lend to someone'
    • *b-los 'to borrow'
  • *guhr 'carry'
  • *kloh 'catch'
  • *kwa-t 'clothe'
  • *r-sat 'comb'
  • *phin 'cook'
    • *mihn 'to cook until done'
    • *tso 'to boil'
  • *kəp 'cover'
  • *pəl 'cut'
    • *kri 'to cut meat'
  • *p-syah 'dance'
  • *goh 'dig'
  • *gəp 'draw water'
  • *zya 'eat'
    • *kəi 'to eat things which require chewing'
  • *hat 'extract'
  • *z-dət 'find'
  • *z-dup 'gather'
  • *ya 'give'
  • *p-set 'grind'
  • *r-guh 'guard'
  • *tup 'hammer'
  • *tsho 'herd'
  • *phok 'husk'
  • *lut 'insert'
  • *tak 'install'
  • *r-then 'kick'
  • *saht 'kill'
  • *kek 'ladle'
  • *b-rihm 'lay wall'
  • *lep 'lick'
  • *dzət 'make'
  • *pek 'milk'
  • *z-bra-t 'mix'
  • *pho-t 'open'
  • *phok 'pay'
  • *tik 'pick up'
  • *s-krəp 'pin closed'
  • *p-tsil 'pinch'
  • *p-sut 'plug'
  • *tek 'press'
  • *dzəhk 'put'
    • *nat 'to set down, place'
  • *ra-s 'release'
  • *phit 'remove from fire'
  • *tsep 'ride'
  • *s-ŋo 'roast'
  • *b-zu 'rub'
    • *p-sil 'to scrub'
  • *s-lom 'scald'
  • *sim 'scoop'
  • *s-pik 'scrape'
    • *pur 'to scratch'
  • *s-nan 'seize'
  • *p-yet 'sell'
  • *s-priŋ 'send'
  • *ruhp 'sew'
  • *p-yen 'shave'
  • *gap 'shoot'
  • *s-tən 'show'
  • *kok 'skin, peel'
  • *phyak 'snap'
  • *tshim 'soak'
  • *was 'sow seed'
  • *khəl 'spin wool'
  • *p-si 'split firewood'
  • *tser 'squeeze'
  • *ku 'steal'
    • *rok 'to ransack, rummage'
  • *r-wal 'stir'
  • *on 'stop'
  • *sit 'sweep'
  • *p-sik ~ *p-sis 'teach'
  • *p-tsit 'tear'
  • *khya 'throw'
  • *s-ki 'tie'
  • *s-to 'trade'
  • *kil 'twist'
  • *s-krup 'unfold'
  • *bohk 'uproot'
  • *tse 'wash'
    • *r-za 'to wash hair'
  • *rəhk 'weave'
    • *rihn 'to set up a loom'
  • *hul 'whet'

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eastern Parbate Kham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Gamale Kham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Sheshi Kham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Western Parbate Pang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b c Watters, David E., 1944- (2004). A dictionary of Kham : Taka dialect (a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal). Kathmandu: Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University. ISBN 99933-52-65-9. OCLC 62895872.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Wilde, Christopher P. (2017-06-01). "A Phonological Comparison of Gamale, Sheram and Ghusbang – Three Kham Varieties". Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. 10 (1): 67–90. ISSN 1836-6821.
  4. ^ Wilde, Christopher P. (2016). "Gamale Kham phonology revisited, with Devanagari-based orthography and lexicon". Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. ISSN 1836-6821.

External links[edit]