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A sketch grammar of Siyuewu Khroskyabs [HL Archive 9]


Khroskyabs is a rGyalronic (Tibeto-Burman) language of northwestern Sichuan province in the People's Republic of China. There are an estimated 10,000 speakers of Khroskyabs living in several villages and townships in the river valleys of part of the Tibetan plateau (Huang, 2003). Khroskyabs speakers identify as ethnically Tibetan, and the language is under immense social pressure both from Amdo Tibetan (the prestige language of the community) and Mandarin Chinese (the language of schooling). There is also some lexical borrowing from both Tibetan and Sichuan Mandarin.

Khroskyabs exhibits many typologically interesting characteristics, including hierarchical alignment, verb stem alternation, partial stem reduplication in reciprocal verbs, and pervasive use of directional verb prefixes which have extended uses as aspect markers. Data for this sketch was conducted in the context of a year-long graduate Field Methods seminar with a native speaker who is committed to the documentation and maintenance of her language. While it is subject to the usual limitations that come from working with a single speaker at a far geographic remove from the larger community and sociolinguistic context, Yulha’s linguistic training and personal motivation were a key advantage in this enterprise.

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