The topic of this study is the grammaticalised uses of the verb yá ‘get’ in Burmese.
Occurring in postverbal position, yá covers a number of functions, which are distinguished
by syntactical means. I will look at the historical development of the processes involved, as
well as parallels in neighbouring languages which suggest influence on or from Burmese.
The main points to be investigated are 1. the semantics of yá ‘get, 2. the difference
between free and bound auxiliaries, and 3. the future vs. non-future distinction made by
verbal markers, all of which contribute to the grammatical uses of yá as marker of
OBLIGATION or PERMISSION/POSSIBILITY. Finally an attempt is made at explaining the
grammaticalisation processes in historical and general cognitive terms. 1