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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Himalayan Linguistics is a free peer-reviewed web journal and archive devoted to the study of the languages of the Himalayas. It includes the series Languages and Peoples of the Eastern Himalayan Region, which incorporates the North East Indian Linguistics (NEIL) volumes.

Himalayan Linguistics

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Names of plants of Mediterranean and Balkan origin in Burushaski

After a brief overview of studies that correlate the Burushaski language with Indo-European, the article goes on to examine the close and specific semantic and phonological correspondence between eight plant names shared by Burushaski and the Indo-European languages of the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. On the strength of this correlation it is proposed that these plant names may point to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans as the original area of inhabitation of the Burushaski people.

A Rule-based Part-of-speech Tagger for Classical Tibetan

This paper reports on the development of a rule-based part-of-speech tagger for Classical Tibetan. Far from being an obscure tool of minor utility to scholars, the rule-based tagger is a key component of a larger initiative aimed at radically transforming the practice of Tibetan linguistics through the application of corpus and computational methods.

Word formation in Thadou

This paper attempts to discuss word formation in Thadou, a Tibeto-Burman language of the Kuki-Chin subgroup spoken by around 231, 200 (Lewis 2009) speakers of northeast India and Myanmar. This paper discusses three processes that are relevant for word formation in Thadou –affixation, compounding and reduplication. Thadou like the other Kuki-Chin languages of the region is an agglutinative language in which almost all the syllable boundary corresponds to morpheme boundary. Most words in Thadou tend to be largely monosyllabic, but even with bisyllabic words it is not difficult to segment the various morphemes which composed a bisyllabic word.

Person Marking in Stau

This paper offers an overview of the verb system and person marking in a hitherto poorly described Sino-Tibetan language. We posit the existence of six verb classes based upon alternations of the final stem vowel, both for transitive and intransitive verbs. Person marking is described in comparison with that of closely related Rgyalrongic languages is found to be of interest for the reconstruction of the protosystem. The data analysed show that Rtau is also interesting from a typological point of view as it illustrates of a hitherto undescribed subtype of hierachical agreement.