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Transitivity markers in West Himalayish: synchronic and diachronic considerations


Widmer, Manuel (2018). Transitivity markers in West Himalayish: synchronic and diachronic considerations. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 41(1):75-105.

Abstract

The present paper describes a transitivity distinction that is attested in some Tibeto-Burman (TB) languages of the West Himalayish (WH) subgroup. The relevant distinction is encoded by a set of dedicated markers that occur between verb stems and inflectional endings and group verb into transitivity classes. The paper first offers a synchronic description of transitivity classes in the WH language Bunan, discussing their formal realization and functional motivation. Subsequently, the relevant transitivity classes are discussed from a historical-comparative perspective. It is argued that the transitivity distinction developed when an object agreement marker was reanalyzed as a marker of transitive verbs. The paper thus offers new perspectives on transitivity in TB from both a synchronic and a diacronic point of view, and adduces evidence for a hitherto underscribed reanalysis from “object agreement marker” > “marker of transitive verbs”.

Abstract

The present paper describes a transitivity distinction that is attested in some Tibeto-Burman (TB) languages of the West Himalayish (WH) subgroup. The relevant distinction is encoded by a set of dedicated markers that occur between verb stems and inflectional endings and group verb into transitivity classes. The paper first offers a synchronic description of transitivity classes in the WH language Bunan, discussing their formal realization and functional motivation. Subsequently, the relevant transitivity classes are discussed from a historical-comparative perspective. It is argued that the transitivity distinction developed when an object agreement marker was reanalyzed as a marker of transitive verbs. The paper thus offers new perspectives on transitivity in TB from both a synchronic and a diacronic point of view, and adduces evidence for a hitherto underscribed reanalysis from “object agreement marker” > “marker of transitive verbs”.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:January 2018
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 07:51
Last Modified:22 Feb 2019 07:52
Publisher:La Trobe University
ISSN:0731-3500
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1075/ltba.17011.wid
Official URL:https://www.jbe-platform.com/content/journals/10.1075/ltba.17011.wid
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDP1BEP1_148871
  • : Project TitleA Descriptive Grammar of Bunan
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDCRSII1_160739
  • : Project TitleLinguistic morphology in time and space (LiMiTS)

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