9. Word; Accent; Quantity

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The peculiarity of the Tibetan mode of writing in distinctly marking the word-syllables, but not the words (cf. 4) composed of two or more of these, sometimes renders is doubtful what is to be rgarded as one word.


There exist a great number of small monosyllables, which serve for denoting different shades of notions, grammatical relations etc., and are postponed to the word in question; but never alter its original shape, though their own initials are not seldom influenced by its final consonant (cf. 15).


Such monosyllables may conveniently be regarded as terminations, forming one word together with the preceeding nominal or verbal root.


The accent is, in such cases, most naturally given to the root, or, in compounds, generally to the latter part of the composition, as: mig ,eye', mig gi ,of the eye'; lag ,hand', lag shubs, ,hand covering, glove'.


Equally natural is, in WT., the quantity of the vowels: accentuated vowels, when closing the syllable, are comparatively long (though never so long as in the English words bee, stay, or the Hindi character omitted etc.), otherwise short, as mi ,man', mi la ,to the man', but mar ,butter'. - In CT, however, even accentuated and closing vowels are uttered very shortly: mi, mi-la etc., and long ones occur there only in the case of 5, 4.5 and 8.2, as las lae ,work'; chos choe ,religion'; mda' da ,arrow'; gza' za ,planet'; and in Lhasa especially: nags na ,forest'; legs pa le-pa ,good'; rigs ri ,class, sort'; logs lo ,side'; lugs lu ,manner'. - In Sanscrit words the long vowels are marked by an 'a beneath the consonant, as: n'a ma (character omitted) ,called', m'u la (character omitted) ,root' (s. 3).

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