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Research Student Presentation: Fuminobu Nishida on 25th November 2002 (Monday)
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Topic:  Research Student Presentation: Fuminobu Nishida on 25th November 2002 (Monday)
posted itemPosted - 18/11/2002 :  09:16:18

Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics

Research Student Presentation


Fuminobu Nishida

Tone of Syangja Gurung and Typology of TB Tones

Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm

Date: 25 November 2002 (Monday)

Venue: B7603 (CTL Multi-purpose Room), City University of Hong Kong


Gurung is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the higher mountain area in the kingdom of Nepal. Field data from Syangja Gurung suggest that its tonal system is fundamentally closer to those of some Tibeto-Burman languages of Nepal such as Thakali and Tamang. While there is no doubt that Gurung is a tone language, the question as to the precise nature of its suprasegmental system is the subject of the present investigation. The preliminary analysis shows that Syangja Gurung tone sandhi is a process of neutralization whereby the tones of all syllables after the initial syllable in a tone group are deleted, with the result that the tone of the initial syllables spreads rightward over the entire word. It can be said that the suprasegmentals of this language constitute a system intermidiate between omnisyllabic tone and pitch-accent, that is to say, between languages which have a tonal contrast on all syllables and those where a single syllable is not enough for the development of a tonal contrast. In order to elucidate and provide a deeper understanding of the nature of tones of Gurung and linguistic position of this language among Tamangic langauges, on the basis of data collected in the course of fieldwork in Hong Kong, and other materials of other Gurung dialects published so far, this paper demonstrates the aspects of tones of a southern (Syangja) dialect, which has not been described before, in detail and discusses the phonological process from phonetic, historical, typological and areal linguistic point of view.
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