August 16, 2012


I see that someone has just misspelt the last syllable of my name (who knows whether deliberately or inadvertently). I do not intend to discuss the Tibetan discussions about the need or needlessness of the s-secondary postscript (yang ’jug) and so please do not come up with Mi-pham’s Sa mtha’ rnam ’byed (as a response to one sDe-dge grammarian—I keep on forgetting his name), Tshe-tan-zhabs-drung’s deliberation on the topic in his Thon mi’i zhal lung, and so forth. My concern here is the question   whether we can make a sweeping (and hence a risky) generalisation and state that all those words with and without sa yang ’jug must necessarily be cognates. Just as in the case of phyug “to be rich” and phyugs (“cattle”), which seem to cognates, can we also say about: nag and nags; yang and yangs; gang and gangs; and so on.


  1. Rtog and rtogs!
    Rig and rigs!
    Thig and thigs?
    Rtag and rtags.
    Tshig and tshigs.

    There are so many of them! I doubt there is a rule to cover all cases. Is there?