Year of publication
- Der Hang zur Exzentrik: Annäherungen an das kognitive Modell der Relativkonstruktion (1991)
- Vor gut vierzig Jahren hat Milewski (1950) das Werkzeug der Syntaxtypologie um das Begriffspaar "kon- und exzentrische Struktur" vermehrt. Dieses Klassifikationsmittel wurde später von Nichols (1984,1986) erneuert und terminologisch mit der Unterscheidung von head- und dependent-marking erfasst. Dabei hat die Autorin vorgeschlagen, diese Unterscheidung auch für die Typologie der Relativkonstruktion fruchtbar zu machen.
- Relatives à antécédent interne, nominalisation et focalisation : entre syntaxe et morphologie en bélharien (1995)
- Par contraste avec le construction prénominales, la relative nominalisée à antécédent interne n'est attestée dans la région himalayenne qu'en tibétain.
- Rhythm and feet in Belhare morphology (1998)
- In Belhare (Sino-Tibetan, Nepal), consonant prothesis at morpheme boundaries and deletion of stem "augments" is found if either metrical or morphological parsing would violate the bimoraic trochee pattern that underlies the stress system of the language. This finding corroborates Dresher & Lahiri’s (1991) "Principle of Metrical Coherence" and provides new evidence for the cross-linguistic applicability of Crowhurst’s (1994) "Tautomorphemic Foot" constraint. The data also support a view of the Prosodic Hierarchy as weakly layered, allowing consonants to be directly dominated by the foot or word node if they are prothetic and do not therefore need feature licensing within the syllable canon.
- Principles of event framing : genetic stability in grammar and discourse (1999)
- Ever since Wilhelm von Humboldt’s (1836) pioneering study of Nahuatl, linguists have recurrently recognized that languages differ fundamentally in the syntactic weight they attribute to noun-phrases as the arguments of a verb. Currently, the most prominent attempts to turn this intuition into a precise hypothesis revolve around the notion of ‘configurationality’.
- Grammatical relations, agreement, and genetic stability (1999)
- Languages vary in whether or not primary grammatical relations (PGRs) are sensitive to information from clause-level case or phrase structures. This variation correlates with a difference between verb agreement systems based on feature unification and systems based on feature composition. The choice between different PGR and agreement principles is found to be highly stable genetically and to characterize Indo-European as systematically different from Sino-Tibetan. Although the choice is partially similar to the Configurationality Parameter, it is shown that Indo-European languages of South Asia are nonconfigurational due to areal pressure but follow their European relatives in PGR and agreement principles.
- Introduction: person and evidence in Himalayan languages (2000)
- The present volume results from an initiative to foster cooperation between scholars of Himalayan languages in Europe. The initiative was launched five years ago and has brought about a series of annual workshop meetings and individual cooperative projects (cf. http://www.isw.unibe.ch/EuroHimal). The 1998 workshop, held in Heidelberg, was devoted to the role that notions of speech act participants play in the grammar of various Himalayan languages, and the present collection represents, with some additions and some subtractions, the proceedings of this workshop. In the following I will give some background on the rationale for the topics covered in this volume, especially on the ways in which the indexing of speech act participants is related in Himalayan languages to evidentials and other epistemological operators. I will close this introduction with a brief outline of the structure of the volume.
- Space, territory, and a stupa in Eastern Nepal: exploring Himalayan themes and traces of Bon (2000)
- Recent research has adduced growing evidence for a distinct stratum of cultural practices that underlies various "tribal" traditions in the Himalayan region and that also seems to be characteristic of various local versions of the Bon tradition. Bon literature is not uncommonly embedded in cultural patterns that are more specifically Himalayan than belonging to the greater South Asian heritage. Two aspects of this that have received attention in Ramble's (1997) study of a Bon guide to the sacred Kong-po mountain (rKong-po bon- ri) are the symbolism of wild boar hunting involved in marriage rituals and poison cults with their corresponding beliefs about poisoning. Another pattern of cultoral organization that may help better understand the Bon tradition against its Himalayan background is spatial conceptualization.
- What is typology? - a short note (2001)
- It is often assumed that the goal of typology is to define the notion ‘possible human language’. This view, which I call the Universalist Typology view is shared, for example, by virtually all contributors to Bynon & Shibatani’s 1995 volume Approaches to Language Typology, and by Moravscik in her review of this volume in Linguistic Typology 1 (p.105). In the following I claim that this assumption is fundamentally mistaken. To clarify the theoretical status of what is meant by ‘possible human language’, I argue here for a distinction between typological theory (theoretical typology) and grammatical theory (theoretical syntax and theoretical morphology) as distinct subdisciplines of linguistics.
- Prosodic tautomorphemicity in Sino-Tibetan (2003)
- Sino-Tibetan is a prime example of how strongly a language family can typologically diversify under the pressure of areal spread features (Matisoff 1991, 1999). One of the manifestation of this is the average length of prosodic words. In Southeast Asia, prosodic words tend to average on one or one-and-a-half syllables. In the Himalayas, by contrast, it is not uncommon to encounter prosodic words containing five to ten syllables. The following pair of examples illustrates this.