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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Eat and drink – if you can! A language internal explanation for the ‘irregular’ paradigm of Tibetan za, zos, zo ‘eat’

  • Author(s): Zeisler, Bettina
  • et al.

Abstract: The paper discusses recent suggestions that Tibetan may originally have had a system of person marking, which could thus be reconstructed for proto-Tibeto-Burman. While self-evident traces of such person marking are clearly missing, the ‘irregular’ paradigm of the verb ‘eat’ has been taken as indirect evidence. This proposal, however, is in need of several further assumptions. The ‘irregular’ stem forms zos and zo, on the other hand, correspond to a regular, albeit obsolete modal derivation of ability in Old and Classical Tibetan.

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