A grammar of Yakkha

A grammar of Yakkha

By Diana Schackow
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Book Description

This grammar provides the first comprehensive grammatical description of Yakkha, a Sino-Tibetan language of the Kiranti branch. Yakkha is spoken by about 14,000 speakers in eastern Nepal, in the Sankhuwa Sabha and Dhankuta districts. The grammar is based on original fieldwork in the Yakkha community. Its primary source of data is a corpus of 13,000 clauses from narratives and naturally-occurring social interaction which the author recorded and transcribed between 2009 and 2012. Corpus analyses were complemented by targeted elicitation. The grammar is written in a functional-typological framework. It focusses on morphosyntactic and semantic issues, as these present highly complex and comparatively under-researched fields in Kiranti languages. The sequence of the chapters follows the well-established order of phonological, morphological, syntactic and discourse-structural descriptions. These are supplemented by a historical and sociolinguistic introduction as well as an analysis of the complex kinship terminology. Topics such as verbal person marking, argument structure, transitivity, complex predication, grammatical relations, clause linkage, nominalization, and the topography-based orientation system have received in-depth treatment. Wherever possible, the structures found were explained in a historical-comparative perspective in order to shed more light on how their particular properties have emerged.

Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
    • Aims of this grammar
    • How to use the grammar
      • Structure of the book
      • Orthography and transliterations
      • Glossing and further conventions
      • Notes on terminology
        • Nominalization
        • Generalized Semantic Roles (gsrs)
    • Data sources
      • Fieldwork
      • The corpus
      • The lexical database
    • Earlier studies on Yakkha language and culture
    • Typological overview of the Yakkha language
      • Phonology
      • Word classes
      • Nominals
      • Verbs
      • Syntax
  • The Yakkha language and its speakers
    • Geographical context
    • Cultural and historical background
      • Kiranti
      • The Yakkha
        • Ethnic affiliation
        • Language names
        • Subsistence and economy
        • Material culture
        • Social organization and religion
    • Genealogical affiliation
    • Sociolinguistic context
      • Dialectal variation
      • Endangerment
  • Phonology
    • Phoneme inventory and allophonic rules
      • Vowel phonemes
      • Diphthongs
      • Consonant phonemes
        • The main phonemic distinctions in the consonants
        • Marginal consonant phonemes
        • The phonemic status of the glottal stop
        • The status of /r/ in Yakkha and in an Eastern Kiranti perspective
        • Aspirated voiced consonants
    • Syllable structure
    • The phonological treatment of Nepali and English loans
    • Stress assignment
    • Morphophonological processes
      • Voicing
      • The prefixation of underspecified nasals
      • Vowel harmony
      • Operations to avoid adjacent vowels
        • Vowel deletion
        • Ablaut
        • Insertion of glides
        • Gliding
      • Consonants in sonorous environment
        • Intervocalic /h/ and /w/
        • Nasals in sonorous environment
      • Assimilations
      • Operations involving nasals
        • Nasality assimilation
        • Nasalization of codas
        • Insertion of nasals
      • Nasal copying
  • Pronouns, demonstratives, quantifiers, numerals, interrogatives
    • Personal pronouns
    • Possessive pronouns and nominal possessive inflection
      • Possessive pronouns
      • Possessive prefixes
      • Obligatory possession
    • Demonstratives
      • Proximal, distal and anaphoric deixis
      • Demonstrative adverbs and quantifiers
    • Indefinite reference
    • Quantifiers, numerals and numeral classifiers
      • Quantification, size and degree
      • Numerals and classifiers
        • Cardinal numerals
        • Counting events
    • Interrogative proforms
  • The noun phrase
    • Noun formation and properties of lexical nouns
      • Lexical nominalizations
      • Compounding
        • Co-compounds and sub-compounds
        • Toponyms
        • Botanical terms and nouns referring to liquids
        • Lexical diminutives
        • Rhyming in compounds
      • Proper nouns and teknonymy
      • The count/mass distinction
      • Inherent duality
    • Nominal inflectional morphology
      • Number
        • Omission of nonsingular =ci
        • Associative interpretations of nonsingular marking
      • Core case markers (Group I)
        • The nominative (unmarked)
        • The ergative =ŋa
        • The instrumental =ŋ(a)
        • The genitive =ka
        • The locative =pe
        • The ablative =phaŋ
        • The comitative =nuŋ
      • Further case markers (Group II)
        • The direction and manner marker khaʔla
        • The temporal ablative marker nhaŋto
        • The comparative marker haksaŋ/haʔniŋ
        • The equative and similative marker loʔa
        • The equative marker for size hiŋ
        • The privative marker maʔniŋ
        • Postpositions from Nepali
    • Relational nouns
    • The structure of the noun phrase
      • Possessive phrases
      • Other modifiers: adjectives, numerals, quantifiers, demonstratives
      • Relative clauses
      • Coordination
      • Combinatory possibilities
      • Information structure inside the noun phrase
  • Adjectives and adverbs
    • Adjectives
      • Kinds of adjectives
      • Color terms
      • Adjectives in attributive and in predicative function
    • Comparison, equation and degree
      • Degree
      • The equative
      • The comparative and the superlative
    • Adverbs
      • Manner adverbs derived by the comitative =nuŋ
      • Temporal adverbs
      • Adverbs based on obligatorily possessed nouns
      • Adverbs derived by -lik ~ -lek
      • Marginal derivations
      • Non-derived adverbs
    • Reduplication, triplication and ideophones
      • Reduplication in adjectives
      • Reduplication in adverbs
      • Triplication
      • Ideophonic adverbs
  • The geomorphic orientation system
    • Introduction
    • Demonstratives
    • Adverbs
    • Postpositions
    • Motion verbs
  • Verbal inflection
    • Stem formation
      • Stem types
        • Unaugmented roots
        • Augmented roots
      • Morphophonological behavior of stems
    • Person, number and syntactic role marking
    • Polarity
    • Tense and aspect marking
      • The nonpast
      • The past tenses
        • The simple past
        • The perfect
        • The past perfect
      • The progressive
      • The periphrastic continuative
      • The transitive completive
      • Tense/aspect paradigm tables
    • Mood
      • The subjunctive
      • The Optative
      • The Imperative
    • Periphrastic honorific inflection
    • The inflection of the copulas
      • The identificational copula (with a zero infinitive)
      • The existential verb wama
    • Further markers
    • Non-finite forms
  • Noun-verb predicates
    • Simple noun-verb predicates
    • Experiencer-as-possessor constructions
      • Subframes of argument realization
      • Semantic properties
      • Morphosyntactic properties
        • Wordhood vs. phrasehood
        • Behavioral properties of the experiencer arguments
  • Complex predication
    • Formal properties
    • The functions of the V2s
      • The V2 -piʔ (benefactive, affected participants)
      • The quasi-V2 -i ~ -ni (completive)
      • The V2 -ca (reflexive, middle, autobenefactive)
      • The quasi-V2 -siʔ (middle, unintentional)
      • The V2 -kheʔ (motion away, sbj]telicitytelicity)
      • The V2 -ra (motion towards)
      • The V2 -raʔ (caused motion towards)
      • The V2 -uks (motion down towards)
      • The V2 -ukt (caused motion down towards)
      • The V2 -ap (motion towards, from close nearby)
      • The V2 -apt (caused motion towards, from close nearby)
      • The V2 -ris (caused motion to a distant goal)
      • The V2 -bhes (caused horizontal motion towards)
      • The V2 -end (caused motion downwards)
      • The V2 -ket (caused motion up and towards)
      • The V2 -haks (caused motion away, irreversibility)
      • The V2 -khet (caused motion along with A)
      • The quasi-V2 -a ~ -na (do X and leave object)
      • The V2 -nes (continuative)
      • The V2 -nuŋ (continuative)
      • The V2 -bhoks (punctual, sudden events)
      • The V2 -heks (immediate prospective, do separately)
      • The V2 -ghond (spatially distributed events)
      • The V2 -siʔ (avoid, prevent)
      • The V2 -soʔ (experiential)
  • Transitivity
    • Frames of argument realization
      • Theoretical preliminaries
      • The standard intransitive frame
      • The intransitive experiencer frame
      • The motion verb frame
      • The standard monotransitive frame
      • The experiencer-as-object frame
      • The transimpersonal frame
      • Marginally occurring frames
        • The locative object frame
        • The semi-transitive frame
        • The double nominative frame
        • The double object frame
        • The indirective frame
        • The secundative frame
      • The experiencer-as-possessor frame
      • Copular and light verb frames
        • Frame (a): Identification, equation, class inclusion
        • Frame (b): Existence, attribution, location, possession
        • Light verbs
    • Valency alternations
      • Lability
        • Inchoative-causative lability
        • Reflexive lability
      • Alternations in three-argument verbs
        • The spray-load alternation
        • Alternations related to the animacy of G
        • Scenario-based alternations
    • Transitivity operations
      • Unmarked detransitivizations
        • The passive detransitivization
        • The antipassive detransitivization
        • Syncretisms of sbj]detransitivizationdetransitivization and 1nsg reference
      • The causative construction
      • The sbj]benefactivebenefactive construction
      • The reflexive construction
      • The reciprocal construction
      • The middle construction
      • V2 stems signalling animate T arguments
      • Historical excursus: Stem augments
  • Simple clauses
    • Basic clausal properties
    • Constituent order
    • Illocutionary functions
      • Declarative clauses
      • Hortative and optative clauses
      • Imperative and prohibitive clauses
      • Interrogative clauses
        • Polar questions
        • Disjunctive questions
        • Content questions
      • Exclamative clauses
    • Flexible agreement
  • Nominalization and relativization
    • Lexical nominalization: -pa and -ma
    • Participant nominalization (S/A arguments): -khuba
      • Formal properties
      • Grammatical relations
      • Predicative use of the nominalized forms
    • The nominalizers =na and =ha ~ =ya
      • Relativization
        • Adnominal modification and relativization
        • Headless and internally headed relative clauses
      • Complementation
      • Stand-alone nominalizations
        • A versatile discourse strategy
        • The alignment of =na and =ha in main clauses
    • Correlative clauses
  • Adverbial clause linkage
    • Introduction
    • The supine converb -se
    • Infinitival purpose clauses in -ma=ga
    • Infinitival causal clauses in -ma=ŋa
    • The simultaneous converb -saŋ
    • The negative converb meN...le
    • Comitative clause linkage in =nuŋ
    • Conditional clauses in bhoŋ
    • Purpose clauses in bhoŋ
    • Sequential clause linkage and narrative clause-chaining in =hoŋ
    • Concessive clauses in =hoŋca
    • Cotemporal linkage in =niŋ(a)
    • Counterfactual clauses in =niŋ(go)bi or =hoŋ(go)bi
    • Interruptive clauses in =lo
  • Complementation
    • Infinitival complement clauses
      • Overview
      • Predicates with variable valency
      • Invariably transitive predicates
      • Three-argument constructions
      • The intransitively inflected verb kaŋma ‘agree, give in’
      • Subject complement constructions
      • The Necessitative construction
        • Introduction
        • Alignment patterns
        • Comparative notes and discussion
    • Inflected complement clauses
      • Predicates of cognition and experience
      • Utterance predicates
      • Complement-taking nouns
  • Connectives on the text level
    • Sequential connectives
    • Cotemporal connectives
    • Adversative connectives
    • Causal connectives
    • The connective of negative effect
  • Discourse particles and interjections
    • Topic
      • The particle =ko ~ =go
      • The contrastive topic particle =chen (from Nepali)
      • The quotative and textual topic particle baŋniŋ
    • Focus and emphasis
      • The restrictive focus particle =se
      • The additive focus particle =ca
      • The emphatic particle =pa ~ =ba
      • The emphatic particle =i
      • The contrastive focus particle =le
      • The emphatic particle =maŋ
    • Epistemic, evidential and mirative markers
      • The reportative particle =pu ~ =bu
      • The probability particle loppi
      • The irrealis particle =pi ~ =bi
      • The mirative particle rahecha (from Nepali)
    • Exclamatives
      • The exclamative particle lai
      • The exclamative particle =ʔlo
      • The exclamative hau ~ =(a)u
    • Further particles
      • The alternative particle =em
      • The question particle i
      • The insistive particle (a)u
    • Interjections
  • Appendix A: Texts
    • The owl and I
    • The Namthalungma rocks
    • The Linkha man's bet with the sun
  • Appendix B: Yakkha kinship terms
  • Appendix C: Index of Yakkha formatives
  • References
  • Index
    • Name index
    • Language index
    • Subject index
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