5. Final Consonants

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Only the following ten: ga nga da na ba ma 'a ra la sa (and the four with affixed sa, v. 5.5) occur at the end of a syllable.


It must be observed, that ga da ba as finals are never pronounced like the English g, d, b in leg, bad, cab, but are transformed differently in the different provinces. In Ladak they sound like k, t, p e.g. sog = sock, god = got, thob = top.


In all Central Tibet, moreover, final da and na, sometimes even la, modify the sound of a preceeding vowel: a to ae (similar to the English a in hare, man), o to oe (French eu in jeu), u into ue (French u in mur). In most of the other provinces ga and da are uttered so indistinctly as to be scarcely audible, so that sog, god become so, go. In Tsang even final la is scarcely perceptible, and final ga, particularly after o, is almost dissolved into a vowel sound = a:sol ba so-wa, dkon mchog kon-choa.


Final sa is sounded as s only in Northern Ladak; elsewhere it changes into i or disappears entirely,prolonging, or even modifying at the same time the preceding vowel. Thus the following words: nas 'barley', shes 'know', ris ,figure', chos ,religion', lus ,body', are pronounced in Northern Ladak: nas, shes, ris, chos; in Lahoul: nai, shei, ri, cho, lu; in Lhasa, and consequently by everyone who wishes to speak elegantly: na, she, ri, cho, lu.


In some words final sa occurs as a second closing letter (affix), after ga nga ba ma, as in nags ,forest', gangs ,glacier-ice', thabs ,means', rams ,indigo'; these are pronounced in N. Ladak: nacks, gangs, taps, rams, elsewhere nack (in U: na), gang (ET ghang), tap, ram.


na bgefore pa and ma especially in ET very often pronounced m, e.g. nyan pa nyaem pa, nyon nyoem, snyem pa nyem pa.

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