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Ergative-absolutive marking in Sizang Two markers are classified as ergative: =i ǐn and =naǐ ː, while =si âːa is classified as an absolutive marker.

Ergative-absolutive marking in Sizang Two markers are classified as ergative: =i ǐn and =naǐ ː, while =si âːa is classified as an absolutive marker.

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Sizang Chin (Northern Kuki-Chin, Tibeto-Burman) is spoken in Northern Chin State, Burma/Myanmar. It exhibits a form of ablaut commonly referred to as “verb stem alternation” within the Kuki-Chin literature. In verb stem alternation, one form of a verb (Stem I) occurs in certain environments and a secondary form (Stem II) occurs in other environment...

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Senthang (Kuki-Chin, Tibeto-Burman) is spoken in Central Chin State, Burma/Myanmar. This study aims to describe the participant reference patterns in Senthang narrative discourse. The text corpus used for analysis consists of four oral folktales containing a total of 546 clauses. Each text was recorded digitally, transcribed, glossed, translated, and then analyzed using Dooley & Levinsohn's (2001) sequential default model, which takes as its foundation Givón's (1983) concept of topic continuity. Senthang's inventory of referring expressions is found to include overt NPs, pronouns, and zero anaphora. These referring expressions have several functions on the discourse level, consisting largely in signaling the identifiability, activation status, and thematic salience of participants. Participant rank reflects a participant's global thematic salience. It is determined by adapting Givón's (1983) measurements of topic continuity. The analysis of one of the four texts demonstrates that the more linguistic material used to introduce a participant, the higher that participant’s rank. Default codings of referring expressions are determined for eight subject and non-subject contexts according to the sequential default model. However, the defaults for the two contexts immediately following reported speech are only tentative due to the paucity of their occurrence. More coding tends to occur at episode boundaries and other discontinuities, while less coding tends to occur when there is little to no semantic ambiguity in the identification of a participant. Pronouns occur only rarely in Senthang narrative discourse outside of reported speech. Within reported speech, however, they occur more frequently. Further investigation into the functions of independent pronouns both inside and outside reported speech is recommended. The findings of this study contribute to the description of Senthang, which has remained largely undescribed until recently. They are of special interest to those studying the discourse structures in other pro-drop languages--particularly to those studying other Kuki-Chin languages--as well as to those creating and/or translating materials in Senthang for the purpose of community development.