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Verb agreement in Phong

  • Author(s): Dutta, Niharika
  • et al.

This paper describes the verb agreement marking patterns in Phong, a language variety spoken by a community who are also called Phong. The Phong community is one of the more than thirty two sub-groups of the larger Tangsa community, who live on both sides of the Indo-Myanmar boarder. Phone belong to Bodo-Konyak-Jingpho sub-group of the Tibeto-Burman family. It is spoken by around 3000 people spread across six villages in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh and in the Tinsukia district of Assam.

The verbs in Phong agree with one of the arguments of the clause for number and person. There are three person and three number distinctions. The agreement markers are independent words consisting of the tense marker and the agreement morpheme. These words generally follow the main verb. Phong has a hierarchical agreement pattern in which the verb agrees with the argument higher in ‘person hierarchy’. For instance, the verb agrees with a first person argument over a second or a third person argument whether the first person argument is a subject or an object of the sentence, as illustrated in (1-2).

1. an-e ŋa-me hen taʔ-h-aŋ

2SG-ERG 1SG-acc hit PST-INV-1SG

‘You hit me.’

2. ŋe i-me hen t-aŋ

1SG-ERG 3SG-acc hit PST-1SG

‘I hit him.’


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