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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The segmental inflection of Bumthang verbs: exploring the boundary between phonology and morphophonology


This paper presents a synoptic account of verbal suffixation in the Ura dialect of Bumthang, a language of central Bhutan. Examining verbal allomorphy shows the persistence of exceptions to historical sound changes in contemporary allophonic and allomorphic processes, and reveals striking contrasts with the culturally dominant Tibetic languages of the area. We examine the ways in which some of the allomorphy is motivated by patterns seen in the phonology of the language more widely, while some of the changes reflect purely (arbitrary) morphophonological processes.

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