Prehistory of verbal markers in Hmong: what can we say?

White, Nathan (2021) Prehistory of verbal markers in Hmong: what can we say? Studia Linguistica, 75 (2). pp. 345-374.

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Abstract

Historical reconstruction of verbal modification in the Hmong-Mien family remains largely untouched in the literature. The current work explores, in light of comparative data and fieldwork, the history of four verbal markers in Laotian Hmong: 1) ʃ i55–/ʃ i22– ‘ASSOCIATIVE-RECIPROCAL’, 2) ti55–/tɵɐ̯55– ‘single, only’, 3) ʈʂɑ̤͡ɵ̤42/t͡ ʃɑ̤͡ɵ̤42 ‘PSEUDO-PASSIVE’, and 4) tɑ͡ ɵ22/tɑ̤͡ɵ̤42 ‘be physically able’. The verbal marker ʃ i55–/ʃ i22– likely appeared in Proto-Hmongic with a reciprocal meaning, while ti55–/tɵɐ̯55– is reconstructible to Proto-Far Western Hmongic as an adverbial marker. The form ʈ§ɑ̤͡ɵ̤42/t͡ ʃɑ̤͡ɵ̤42 originates in a primary verb in Proto-Hmongic, and later developed into a pseudo-passive marker and copula. Finally, tɑ͡ ɵ22/tɑ̤͡ɵ̤42 is reconstructible to Proto-Far Western Hmongic as a verb meaning ‘(be) strong, physically able’ that also marked ability to perform an action. This chapter should be of interest not only to Hmong-Mienists and those working in Southeast Asia, but also to those developing working methodologies for language families lacking a long written history.

Item ID: 69316
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-9582
Keywords: Hmong; Fieldwork; Verbal modification; Proto-Hmong-Mien; Historical Linguistics
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Editorial Board of Studia Linguistica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 04:04
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470406 Historical, comparative and typological linguistics @ 70%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470407 Language documentation and description @ 15%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470409 Linguistic structures (incl. phonology, morphology and syntax) @ 15%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture @ 100%
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