Tournadre textbook questions

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yagmort
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Tournadre textbook questions

Post by yagmort »

on the page 37 he writes:

...It is important to note the following rule:
aspirated consonants are always voiceless while non-aspirated consonants are voiceless when they carry a high tone but voiced with a low tone...

so if i understand correctly, for example ཁ and ག are both aspirated consonants, how are they voiceless?

and, if ས is an example of non-aspirared, high tone consonant how is it voiceless again?

obviously, i'm getting something wrong here, but i don't see what. will be glad for help.
yagmort
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Tournadre textbook questions

Post by yagmort »

yagmort wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:40 am ...
and, if ས is an example of non-aspirared, high tone consonant how is it voiceless again?
...
i meant ཀ in this example
Archie2009
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:39 pm

Re: Tournadre textbook questions

Post by Archie2009 »

As I understand it, aspiration and voiced/voiceless are two different things. A voiced sound means the vocal cords are vibtating during production. Aspiration is a puff of breath immediately following the production of the main consonant.

For the first row velar plosives ཀ་ ཁ་ and ག་ voiced means the g sound of good in English, voiceless the k from kettle. So while in Sanskrit you can have voiced aspirated plosives like gha, dha etc. In Tibetan only voiceless kha and tha exist with either a high or low tone. When high the aspiration is full on. When low the aspiration is significantly reduced.

Sorry if I misunderstood your question.
Last edited by Archie2009 on Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Archie2009
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:39 pm

Re: Tournadre textbook questions

Post by Archie2009 »

Also, I believe tone and aspiration are what ultimately distinguish phonemes, sound units that are building blocks of meaning, from one another in the Tibetan dialect Tournadre teaches, not the voiced/voiceless distinction.

For example a voiceless non-aspirated ཀ་ is always high tone. In the dialect Tournadre teaches it is a voiceless high tone ka, but pronouncing it voiced as voiced high toned ga would not change the meaning of any word. I think there are Tibetan dialects that are tonal and where ཀ་ is high toned voiced ga. If you listen to the recordings accompanying Joe Wilson's Translating Buddhism from Tibetan I think I can distinguish both possibilities with my Western European ear.

In Sanskrit on the other hand there is no tonal system, only long and short vowels, and pronouncing any voiced consonant as its voiceless counterpart would result in a change of meaning/pronouncing a different word.
yagmort
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Tournadre textbook questions

Post by yagmort »

thank you for response Archie, i got my definition of "voicless" messed up hence my confusion.
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