Sherpa language

Sherpa (also Sharpa, Xiaerba, Sherwa) is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim, mainly by the Sherpa. About 200,000 speakers live in Nepal (2001 census), some 20,000 in Sikkim (1997) and some 800 in Tibetan Autonomous Region (1994). Sherpa is a subject-object-verb (SOV) language. It is written using either the Devanagari or Tibetan script.

Sherpa
शेर्वी तम्ङे, śērwī tamṅē,
ཤར་པའི་སྐད་ཡིག, shar pa'i skad yig
Sherpa language.png
'Sherpa' in Devanagari and Tibetan scripts
Native toNepal, Sikkim, Tibet
EthnicitySherpa
Native speakers
170,000 (2001 & 2011 census)[1]
Sino-Tibetan
Tibetan, Devanagari
Official status
Official language in
   Nepal
 India
Language codes
ISO 639-3xsr
Glottologsher1255

PhonologyEdit

Sherpa is a tonal language.[2][3] Sherpa has the following consonants:[1][dead link]

ConsonantsEdit

Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless p ʈ c k
aspirated t̪ʰ ʈʰ
voiced b ɖ ɟ ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡ʃ
aspirated t͡sʰ t͡ʃʰ
voiced d͡z d͡ʒ
Fricative s ʃ h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Lateral voiceless l̪̥
voiced
Tap voiceless ɾ̥
voiced ɾ
Approximant w j
  • Stop sounds /p, t̪, ʈ, k/ can be unreleased [p̚, t̪̚, ʈ̚, k̚] in word-final position.
  • Palatal sounds /c cʰ ɟ/ can neutralize to velar sounds [k kʰ ɡ] when preceding /i, e, ɛ/.
  • /n/ can become a retroflex nasal [ɳ] when preceding a retroflex stop.
  • /p/ can have an allophone of [ɸ] when occurring in fast speech.

VowelsEdit

Front Back
oral nasal oral nasal
High i ĩ u ũ
Mid-high e o õ
Mid-low ɛ ɛ̃ ɔ ɔ̃
Low a ã ʌ ʌ̃
  • Vowel sounds /i, u/ have the allophones [ɪ, ʊ] when between consonants and in closed syllables.[2]

TonesEdit

There are four distinct tones; high /v́/, falling /v̂/, low /v̀/, rising /v̌/.

GrammarEdit

Some grammatical aspects of Sherpa are as follows:

  • Nouns are defined by morphology when a bare noun occurs in the genitive and this extends to the noun phrase.[incomprehensible] They are defined syntactically by co-occurrence with the locative clitic and by their position in the noun phrase (NP) after demonstratives.
  • Demonstratives are defined syntactically by their position first in the NP directly before the noun.
  • Quantifiers: Number words occur last in the noun phrase with the exception of the definite article.
  • Adjectives occur after the noun in the NP and morphologically only take genitive marking when in construct with a noun.
  • Verbs may morphologically be distinguished by differing or suppletive roots for the perfective, imperfective, and imperative. They occur last in a clause before the verbal auxiliaries.
  • Verbal auxiliaries occur last in a clause.
  • Postpositions occur last in a postpositional NP.

Other typological features of Sherpa include split ergativity based on aspect, SO & OV (SOV), N-A, N-Num, V-Aux, and N-Pos.

VocabularyEdit

The following table lists the days of the week, which are derived from the Tibetan language ("Pur-gae").

Days of the week in Sherpa
English Sherpa
Sunday ŋi`ma ( / ŋ / is the sound Ng')
Monday Dawa
Tuesday Miŋma
Wednesday Lakpa
Thursday Phurba
Friday Pasaŋ
Saturday Pemba

Sample TextEdit

The following is a sample text in Sherpa of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Sherpa in Devanagari script

तेरी मिमाङगी चिजिन तङ ओछाकी ग्युला क्येने ज्युन कुन्ञम गिवी। खोङ तिवा तेरीकी रिक्पा ल्येमो खुर्ने हुङगु यिन तङ तेरीकी पर्ला चिग्डील हुङगु लाका कि गोकी।

Sherpa in Tibetan script

ཏེརཱི མིམཿ ངགཱི ཙིཛིན ཏང ཨོཚཿཀཱི གྱུལཿ ཀྱེནེ ཇུན ཀུང྄ཉམ གིཝཱི། ཁོང ཏིཝཿ ཏེརཱིཀཱི རིཀ྄པཿ ལ྄ཡེམོ ཁུར྄ནེ ཧུངགུ ཡིང ཏེརཱིཀཱི པར྄ལཿ ཙིག྄ཌཱིལ ཧུངགུ ལཿ ཀཿ ཀི གོཀཱི།

Sherpa in the IPA

[t̪eriː mimʌŋaɡiː tsidzina t̪aŋa otsʰɑkiː ɟulʌ cene dʒuna kunɲama ɡiwiː. kʰoŋa t̪iwʌ t̪eriːkiː rikpɑ ljemo kʰurne huŋaɡu jiŋa t̪eriːkiː parlʌ tsiɡɖiːla huŋaɡu lʌkʌ ki ɡokiː]

Translation

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sherpa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b Graves, Thomas E. (2007). The Phonetics and Phonology of the Sherpa Language.
  3. ^ "Sherpa". Ethnologue. Retrieved 30 August 2019.

External linksEdit