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The historical development of inverse marking in Khroskyabs: evidence from two modern varieties – Siyuewu and Wobzi

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2020

Yunfan Lai*
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History


This paper describes the inverse marking systems of two closely related Khroskyabs varieties, Siyuewu and Wobzi, and hypothesizes the historical development of the Khroskyabs inverse marking system. I propose that a hypothetical prefix, *Cə-, which is probably related to the second person markers attested in many Trans-Himalayan languages, existed in Proto-Khroskyabs, and that it has different reflexes in the two modern Khroskyabs varieties.

Copyright © SOAS University of London, 2020

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I use the Wylie transliteration of Tibetan in this paper (Wylie 1959). I follow the Leipzig Glossing Rules, additional abbreviations are: dir: directional prefix; inv: inverse; orien: orientational prefix; nvis: non-visual; conj: conjunction; pn: personal name; interj: interjection; trans: translocative; ifr: inferential; repeat: repetition; dub: dubitative; pot: potential; neg2: negative marker mæ-/mɑ- in Wobzi that appears only after orientational prefixes; neg3: negative marker mɑ- in Wobzi that appears in the past tense of verbs incompatible with orientational prefixes; part: sentence final particle.


This research was supported by the ERC Starting Grant 715618 CALC. I would like to thank Guillaume Jacques, Scott DeLancey, Zhang Shuya, Gong Xun and the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions.


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