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“Split Inversion” in Nyagrong Minyag and Its Implication for the Evolution of the Rgyalrongic Direct/Inverse System.

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Title:“Split Inversion” in Nyagrong Minyag and Its Implication for the Evolution of the Rgyalrongic Direct/Inverse System.
Authors:Chen, Victoria (Yen-Hsin)
Keywords:linguistics
Date Issued:01 Feb 2015
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
Citation:Chen, Victoria. 2015. “Split Inversion” in Nyagrong Minyag and Its Implication for the Evolution of the Rgyalrongic Direct/Inverse System. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics 46(2).
Series:University of Hawai‘I at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics
Abstract:The rGyalrongic languages of the Tibeto-Burman family employ what is conventionally called a direct/ inverse system, a type of Person-sensitive transitive morphology conditioned by the relative ranking of the agent and the patient on the Person Hierarchy. Based on primary data, this paper investigates a unique type of transitive marking found in the Bomei dialect of Nyagrong Minyag, which, although unambiguously cognate with the inverse marker in closely related Horpa varieties, has nevertheless developed into an aberrant system that presents a split pattern between declaratives (“1 > the rest”) and wh-questions/ imperatives (“1 > 2 > 3”). This study explores the development of this split system, and proposes a diachronic analysis of the evolution of the rGyalrongic direct/inverse pattern evidenced by two Nyagrong Minyag dialects Bomei and Manqing. Through careful examination of the Inverse and Person agreement systems in ten varieties from three rGyalrongic subgroups, this paper shows that the two constructions tend to evolve in parallel, decaying in a way that conforms with the hierarchical ranking proposed by the Person Hierarchy. Nyagrong Minyag appears to be an extreme case of such decay, in which first-person marking becomes the last asymmetry to be left on the Person Hierarchy.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/73253
Rights:Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License
Volume:2015
Appears in Collections: Working Papers in Linguistics - 2015


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