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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The Development of PTB Prefixes and Consonant Clusters in ERSU, Qiang, Pumi and Jiarong Languages

Vol. 21 No. 2   12/1991    


The Development of PTB Prefixes and Consonant Clusters in ERSU, Qiang, Pumi and Jiarong Languages 


Chinfa Lien









Key words



This paper studies the phonological development of PTB prefixes and consonant clusters in the Qiangish language group – ersu, qing, pumi and jiarong languages. We first deal with the change of the prefixes *s-,*r-, *g-, *b-, *m- and their impact root-initials. PTB sonorant initials experienced two major types of change under the influence of medials in some Qiangish languages: (1) the split into voiceless and voiced series, and (2) the oralizaiton of nasals. We then examine the effect of the PTB medials *-j-, *-r-, *-l- on the initials. These medial were overwhelmingly in construction with grave (i.e. labial and velar) rather than acute initials in PTB clusters. They have the effect of modifying the grave initials to form acute affricates. An attempt is also made to provide the PTB forms with OC cognates. We propose on comparative evidence that the OC unitary affricates in some words can be traced back to the cluster of initial + medial. In the end, we touch on the theory of sound change, and the controversy over the existence of OC consonant clusters. 



Author: Chinfa Lien
Genre: Article
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