User:Учхљёная/Dzongkha phonology

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Attention: The following is transcluded and converted from a personal note by Elliott Wheeler, put on this wiki for a quick reference for the phonology of the Dzongkha language.

BTW, if anyone wants to repair the Wikipedia article on Dzongkha after the incident on the 9th, here’re its phonotactics, compiled from George Van Driem’s works.

Edit: Apparently someone already reverted it, so nevermind then.



Syllable structure: (C²)V(F)(ɕ)

  • C = any consonant excluding /k̚/
  • C² = initial consonant cluster
  • V = any vowel
  • F = final consonant

Allowed initial clusters

  • /pt͡ɕ-/ ('pc-, bj-)
  • /pt͡ɕʰ-/ ('pch-, bj˚-)
  • /nj-/ (ny-)

Allowed finals

  • /-ŋ/ (-ng)
  • /-n/ (-n)
  • /-m/ (-m)
  • /-k/ (-k)
  • /-k̚/[note 1]
  • /-p/ (-p)
  • /-ɕ/ (-sh)
  • /-l/ (-l)
  • /-r/ (-r)
  • /-j/ (-i, -y)
  • /-w/ (-u, -o)

Phonemic inventory



Dzongkha consonant-phonemes
Labial Alveolar Retroflex Alveolo-
Velar Glottal
Nasal m (m) n (n) ŋ (ng)
Plosive lenis p (p, b) t (t, d) ʈ (tr, dr) k (k, g) [note 1]
aspirated pʰ (ph, b˚) tʰ (th, d˚) ʈʰ (thr, dr˚) kʰ (kh, g˚)
Affricate lenis t͡s (ts, dz) t͡ɕ (c, j)
aspirated t͡sʰ (tsh) t͡ɕʰ (ch, j˚)
Fricative voiced z (z) ʑ (zh)
voiceless s (s, z˚) ɕ (sh, zh˚) h (h)
Lateral voiced l (l)
voiceless ɬ (lh)
Approximant w (w) r (hr, r) j (y)
  1. 1.0 1.1 Note: /k̚/ often elides to merge with or lengthen the preceding vowel, but not always. It isn't necessarily included in the Van Driem transcription.


Dzongkha vowel-phonemes
Front Back
short long short long
Hiğ unrou. i (i) iː (î)
round. yː (ü) u (u) uː (û)
Mid unrou. e (e) eː (ê)
round. øː (ö) o (o) oː (ô)
Low unrou. ɛː (ä) ɑ (a) ɑː (â)



Pitch-accent-style tones are as follows:

  • /◌˥/ ('-) - /ɬ, h, t͡sʰ/ can only exist in it, true aspiration distinction
  • /◌˩/ - /z, ʑ/ can only exist in it, unaspirated consonants excluding fricatives & finals become voiced