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

Date
2015-02-01
Authors
Chen, Victoria (Yen-Hsin)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of 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.
Description
Keywords
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).
Rights
Access Rights
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.