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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tibeto-Burman subgroups and historical grammar

  • Author(s): van Driem, George
  • et al.

Several distinct strains of thought on subgrouping, presented in memory of David Watters and Michael Noonan, are united by a golden thread. Tamangic consists of Tamangish and maybe something else, just as Shafer would have wanted it. Tamangic may represent a wave of peopling which washed over the Himalayas after Magaric and Kiranti but before Bodish. There is no such language family as Sino-Tibetan. The term ‘trans-Himalayan’ for the phylum merits consideration. A residue of Tibeto-Burman conjugational morphology shared between Kiranti and Tibetan does not go unnoticed, at least twice. Black Mountain Mönpa is not an East Bodish language, and this too does not go unnoticed.

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