8. Prefixed Letters

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The five letters ga da ba ma 'a frequently occur before the real, radical initials of other words, but are seldom pronounced, except in similar cases as 7.6. ga occurs before ca nya ta da na tsa zha za ya sha sa; ga before the gutterals and labials with exception of the aspiratae; ba before ka da, the palatals, dentals and palatal sibilants with the same exception as under da, then zha za ra sha sa ; ma before the gutterals, palatals, dentals and palatal sibilants, excepted the surds; 'a before the aspiratae and sonants of the five classes. In CT, to pronounce them in any case, is considered vulgar.


The ambiguity which would arise in case of the prefix standing before one of the 10 final consonants, as single radical, the vowel being the unwritten a, - e.g. in the syllable dag, which, if da is radical, has to be pronounced dag, if prefixed ga, - is avoided by adding 'a in the latter case: thus, dga'. Other examples are: gad and gda'; bas and bsa' ; mad and mda'; 'ga'. This 'a is added, though the radical be not one of the mentioned letters; as, bka'.


da as a prefix and ba as a first as first radical annul each other, so that only the following sound is heard, as will be seen in the following examples (dbang etc).


Another irregularity is the nasal pronounciation of the prefixed 'a in compounds after a vowel, which is often heard e.g. dge 'dun pronounced gen-dun, but eleg: ge-dun, ,clergy'; bka' 'bum kam-bum, eleg. ka-bum, ,the 100 000 precepts' (title of a book). - Note. With regard to the aspiration of the soft consonants in ET the prefixed letters have the same influence as the superadded ones 7.9



g.yag yak - bos grunniens, yak.
dpe cha pe-cha (Ld.: spe-cha - book.
bzang po sang-po - good.
'bab pa bap-pa - to descend.
'bang wang, vulg.C: ang - power.
dbus Ue - name of the Lhasa district.
dben pa en-pa - solitude.
dbyibs yib(s), ib - figure.
dkar po kar-po - white.
dgra bo dra-wo - enemy.
mngar mo ngar-mo - sweet.
bcu bzhi chub-zhi, Eleg. cu-zhi - fourteen.
dbu u resp. - head.
dbugs ug(s), C: ug, u - breath.
dbyar ka yar ka - summer.
dbye ba ye-wa, e-wa - difference.

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