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Author: Hiroyuki Suzuki

mBrugchu Tibetan, a linguistic group of the Tibetic languages spoken in Zhouqu County, Gannan Prefecture, Gansu, is regarded as a tonal language in previous works. This paper shows that it does not have a distinction of tone in regards to pitch, but rather has prominent breathy phonation which has not yet obtained a phonological position as a suprasegmental and, instead, is merely one of the phonetic features of the voiced glottal fricative /ɦ/. The paper discusses two dialects, dGonpa and Ongsum; the breathy phonation of dGonpa is more prominent than that of Ongsum, this is because /ɦ/ plays a different role in each dialect and hence has different functions. (This article is in English.)

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics