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The Syntax and Semantics of Spatial Reference in Lamkang Verb

  • Author(s): Chelliah, Shobhana Lakshmi
  • Utt, Tyler P
  • et al.
Abstract

Lamkang, a Naga Kuki-Chin langauge spoken in Manipur state, India, has the following verbs  yung ‘fly, go downwards’; hang- ‘go up, climb’; hung- ‘go up’; vang- ‘come’; hei- travel, walk, move along’.  These verbs have been grammaticalized and are used as directional morphemes.  Lamkang speakers report that the correct use of directionals is one of the big stumbling blocks speakers of neighboring languages face when trying to speak Lamkang.  The ‘up’, ‘down’, and ‘across’ dimensions are clear.  But additional factors of social familiarity, distance and prestige, and metaphorical extensions into time, must be considered when indicating the direction of movement.  The venitive, as well, is used not only to mark a deictic center but also to orient a listener’s gaze.  To be truly fluent in Lamkang, one must utilize these multiple meanings.

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