Year of publication
- From ergativus absolutus to topic marking in Kiranti : a typological perspective (2003)
- In many languages, clauses can be subordinated by means of case markers. For Bodic languages, a branch of Sino-Tibetan, Genetti (1986) has shown that the meaning of case markers on clauses is in most instances a natural extension of their function on nouns. A dative, for example, which marks a referential goal with a noun, signals a situational goal, i.e., a purpose, when used on a clause. Among the case markers recruited for subordination, we not only get relatively concrete cases like datives, comitatives and various types of locatives, but also core argument relators such as ergatives and accusatives. In this paper, I focus on ergative markers in one subgroup of Bodic, viz. in Kiranti languages spoken in Eastern Nepal, especially in Belhare.
- Cultural formalism and spatial language in Belhara (2010)
- When looking at ethnographies of Himalayan societies, one is impressed by the recurrent relevance and importance of spatial notions in cullural domains from shamanism to architecture, from belief systems to everyday behaviour, from religion to grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.