Topographical deixis and the Tani languages of North East India

Post, Mark W. (2011) Topographical deixis and the Tani languages of North East India. In: Hyslop, Gwendolyn, Morey, Stephen, and Post, Mark W., (eds.) North East Indian Linguistics. Cambridge University Press India, New Delhi, India, pp. 137-154.

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[Extract] In this paper, I will introduce the term topographical deixis to describe this sort of system as it is found in the Tani languages, which constitute a medium-sized branch of Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, North East India, as well as in small numbers in Tibet (Sun 1993). Although a survey of topographical deixis and related systems in Tibeto-Burman has been initiated and remains ongoing (Post in preparation), in this paper I will mainly restrict discussion to an explication of the system as it operates in those Tani languages which exhibit it. The paper is thus primarily descriptive in intent, and may also, I hope, be used as a benchmark reference for the study of similar and possibly related systems in other North East Indian languages.

The remainder of the paper has the following structure: §2 discusses the environmental context of the Tani languages. In §3, we outline the basic characteristics of a system of topographical deixis, also discussing its hypothetical origins and semantic extensions. §4 presents a detailed overview of the system of topographical deixis found in Lare Galo, based on the recent description of Post (2007), and §5 discusses the status of topographical deixis in other Tani languages.

Item ID: 15422
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-81-7596-793-9
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2011 06:00
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950202 Languages and Literacy @ 100%
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