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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses two lost Proto-Sino-Tibetan morphological markers that are detectable only through comparative studies. Haudricourt asserted that the so-called departing tone, with a falling pitch in modern Standard Chinese, ultimately corresponds to an earlier lost *-s suffix. Evidence is given to demonstrate its function as a nominalizer to turn a verb into a noun. Evidence is also cited to show that an earlier lost prefix *s-, a transitive/causative marker, was ultimately responsible for the change of voiced stops into voiceless stops before its own demise in the history of Chinese. In spite of the modern standard orthography that spells the initial consonant with a letter b, it is realized as a voiceless stop in modern Standard Chinese. There was a voicing alternation in terms of transitivity (i.e., *brads/*prads intransitive/transitive in Old, and Middle, Chinese)

Keywords: Proto-Sino-Tibetan, morphological marker, voicing alternation, causative *s- prefix, *-s suffix

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