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Issues in the historical phonology of Gauri Jingpho

  • Author(s): KURABE, KEITA
  • et al.

The aim of this paper is two-fold: (a) to argue that Gauri Jingpho, an underdescribed dialect of Jingpho spoken by small populations in hill tracts east of Bhamo, Burma (Myanmar), belongs to the Southern group within Jingpho dialects despite its superficial similarity to the Northern group; and (b) to provide phonological developments and a notable retention of Gauri phonology.

This paper classifies Gauri into the Southern group within Jingpho dialects on the basis of irregular phonological developments in which proto-final *-k and proto-prefix *n- dropped in some specific lexical items, and on the basis of not having all the four phonological innovations which all the Northern dialects share. This paper will show that the phonological similarities between Gauri and Northern dialects are due to shared retentions or parallel innovations occurred independently.

This paper also provides phonological developments in Gauri, which can be summarized as follows: *ph- > f-; *kh- > h-; *-k > ; *-k > Ø (sporadic);*-a > -o/*w- or *Ɂw-_ (sporadic); *-a > -e/*y- or *Ɂy-_ *-t or *-n. This paper also shows that Gauri is well preserves Proto-Jingpho medial *-r- as -r-, which has irregularly developed into -y- in some Jingpho dialects, on the basis of comparative evidence.

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