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ItemReanalyzing Fataluku’s Postpositions as Serial Verbs( 2021-11-29)This paper presents a new analysis of a class of words previously analyzed as postpositions in the Papuan language Fataluku. Closer examination reveals that these words exhibit verbal characteristics, such as taking verbal morphology and occupying the same grammatical slots as action verbs. Additionally, a number of words may express either events or sematically-related positional relationships, following established pathways of semantic bleaching. I argue that many verbs have acquired adposition-like meanings through their use in serial verb constructions, a common areal feature, and that their synchronic behavior is more consistent with a verbal analysis than an adpositional one.
ItemThe Structure of Classifier-Modifier Recursion in Thai( 2021-08-31)The repeating classifier-modifier sequence that occurs within Thai nominals has been analyzed as an additional projection of ClassifierP with mandatory movement operations (Singhapreecha 2001). It has also been suggested that there is a prosodic break preceding it, hence requiring recourse to apposition (Visonyanggoon 2000 and Jenks 2011). This paper provides experimental support for the structures of the Thai nominals containing one, two, three and four classifier-modifier sequences. The results from the attachment experiment reveal that the number of the sequences affects how the speakers comprehend the nominals and that their comprehension differences reflect two divergent syntactic structures. For the nominals with one classifier-modifier sequence, the sequence tends to attach the lower DP in the structure while those with two classifier-modifier sequences are likely to be ambiguous between high and low attachment interpretations. Following the results of the relative clause attachment experiment in Dillon et al. 2018, I propose that both of these nominals have embedded structures similar to restrictive relative clauses and the entire DP subsequently undergoes obligatory roll-up movement. For those with three and four classifier-modifier sequences, the preference for high attachment suggests that these sequences should be analyzed as appositive phrases.
ItemLanna Tai of the 16th century: A preliminary study of the Sino-Lanna Manual of Translation( 2021-08-31)Our current understanding of the historical phonology of the Lanna Tai language, a variety of Southwestern Tai spoken by the majority in the northern part of Thailand, is largely limited to two stages: modern dialects and the reconstructed Proto-Southwestern Tai. This paper presents a study on an intermediate stage in the 16th century by applying a graphemic analysis to the Chinese transcription of the pronunciation of the Lanna Tai vocabulary as it appears in the Lanna version of the Sino-Xenic Manual of Translation (Chinese: 華夷譯語Huá-Yí Yìyǔ), a Chinese document produced in the early 16th century for communications on diplomatic mission between the Ming Chinese imperial court and the Lanna kingdom (Yongbunkeat 1968; Shintani 1974). By comparing the correspondences between the Chinese characters and the transcribed Lanna Tai lexical items, this study shows that 16th century Lanna Tai differs from modern Lanna Tai dialects in terms of retaining the original contrast between the pairs of 1) *r and *h, 2) *x and *kh, and 3) *ch and *s. On the other hand, 16th century Lanna Tai might have not fully symmetricised the Proto-Southwestern Tai vowel inventory since there is evidence for the acquisition of only the two long non-front mid vowels *oː and *ɤː, but not for the front mid vowel *eː and two short non-central low vowels *ɛ and *ɔ. In addition, the tone system of the 16th century was almost identical to the modern dialects as well. This study is the first to propose the sound system of Lanna Tai in an intermediate stage between the proto-language and the current language.