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A grammar of Yakkha

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Diana Schackow

Copyright Year: 2015

ISBN 13: 9783946234111

Publisher: Language Science Press

Language: English

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Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: The Yakkha language and its speakers
  • Chapter 3: Phonology
  • Chapter 4: Pronouns, demonstratives, quantifiers, numerals, interrogatives
  • Chapter 5: The noun phrase
  • Chapter 6: Adjectives and adverbs
  • Chapter 7: The geomorphic orientation system
  • Chapter 8: Verbal inflection
  • Chapter 9: Noun-verb predicates
  • Chapter 10: Complex predication
  • Chapter 11: Transitivity
  • Chapter 12: Simple clauses
  • Chapter 13: Nominalization and relativization
  • Chapter 14: Adverbial clause linkage
  • Chapter 15: Complementation
  • Chapter 16: Connectives on the text level
  • Chapter 17: Discourse particles and interjections
  • Appendix A: Texts
  • Appendix B: Yakkha kinship terms
  • Appendix C: Index of Yakkha formatives

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About the Book

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.

About the Contributors


Diana Schackow completed her M.A. in Linguistics, Central Asian Studies and Indian Studies at the University of Leipzig. She holds a Ph.D. degree in General Linguistics from the University of Zürich. Currently she pursues a degree in Communication Design at Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel.

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