Tibetan Grammar - Syntactic particles

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WORK IN PROGRESS: the grammar articles are being edited for wiki publication. During editing, the content might be incomplete, out of sequence or even misleading.

Articles on Tibetan Grammar
1. Introduction
2. Formation of the Tibetan Syllable
3. Formation of the Tibetan Word
4. First case: ming tsam
5. agentive particle
6. Connective Particle
7. La don particles
8. La don particles—Notes
9. Originative case
10. Verbs
11. Verbs—Notes
12. Syntactic particles

by Stefan J. Eckel

Syntactic Non Case Marking Particles

The following particles are "non case marking" when taking the eight Tibetan cases as base to determine which particles are case marking. Some of them are considered case marking particles in other presentations.

For instance Nicolas Tournadre[1]: "In summary, according to the above morphological analysis, Literary Tibetan has ten grammatical cases:
1. absolutive, ངོ་བོ་ཙམ་, 2. agentive, བྱེད་སྒྲ་, 3. genitive, འབྲེལ་སྒྲ་, 4. dative, ལ་སྒྲ་, 5. purposive, དུ་སྒྲ་, 6. locative, ན་སྒྲ་, 7. ablative, ལས་སྒྲ་, 8. elative, ནས་སྒྲ་, 9. associative, དང་སྒྲ་, and 10. comparative, བས་སྒྲ་."

Categories of syntactic non case marking particles

Possessor particle, བདག་སྒྲ་

Coordinating particle, ཞིང་

Continuative particle, ལྷག་བཅས་ཀྱི་སྒྲ་

Concessive particle, "ornament gather particle", རྒྱན་སྡུད་ཀྱི་སྒྲ་, ཚིག་རྒྱན་

Particle ཡང་

Topic particle, ནི་སྒྲ་

Completion particle, full stop, སླར་བསྡུ་, རྫོགས་ཚིག་

Question particle, differentiating and including particle, འབྱེད་སྡུད་


The formerly called "Coordinating particle, དང་སྒྲ་" is now the associative particle དང་སྒྲ་


  1. Tournadre, Nicolas: Himalayan Linguistics, Vol. 9(2): 87-125, 2010, The Classical Tibetan cases and their transcategoriality—From sacred grammar to modern linguistics.