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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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Traces of mirativity in Shina

This paper explores the question of whether mirative meaning, in the sense of Aksu-Koç and Slobin’s (1986) “unprepared mind” and DeLancey (1997), is grammatically encoded in the Dardic language Shina. Mirativity marking in Shina’s linguistic neighbors is examined and compared with the situation in Shina. I find a clustering of what appears to be morphologically indicated mirativity in the eastern dialects of Shina, and identify two morphological strategies which can be employed to encode mirativity.

Language contact in Jharkhand: Linguistic convergence between Munda and Indo-Aryan in eastern-central India

The present study takes a closer look at language convergence in Jharkhand in eastern-central India, concentrating on Indo-Aryan and Munda languages. Although it is well-known that the Indo-Aryan languages which function as linguae francae in the region – such as Sadri, Bengali and Oriya – have had an enormous impact on the morphosyntax and lexicon of the Munda languages, in this study I call attention to a number of convergences which to my knowledge have so far gone unnoticed, many of which appear to originate in Munda, while others are of uncertain origin. These include, among others, the emergence of inalienable possession as a morphological category and incipient dual marking in the pronominal paradigm in Sadri, similarities in categories denoting 'from' and 'to' or 'begin' and 'keep on', as well as a number of interesting areal developments of the genitive, including 3rd person marking, focus marking, or becoming part of the copular stem in several languages of the region.

The Classical Tibetan cases and their transcategoriality: From sacred grammar to modern linguistics

This paper proposes a new analysis of the Classical Tibetan case system. After presenting the traditional as well as modern linguistics view on cases, I introduce a new analysis of the Classical Tibetan case system in ten cases: absolutive, agentive, genitive, dative, purposive, locative, ablative, elative, associative and comparative. The present description of morphology, grammatical semantics and syntax of the cases is based on four fundamental properties of the Classical Tibetan casemarkers, namely: cliticity, multifunctionality, transcategoriality and optionality. The originality of this literary case system lies in the multifunctional, transcategorial and optional nature of the casemarkers, which largely contributes to the great syntactic complexity of this old literary language of the Tibeto-Burman family.