- Tibetobirmanische Sprachen ; Nungisch (2)
Hierarchical person marking in Rawang
Randy J. LaPolla
- Rawang (Rvwàng) is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the far north of Myanmar (Burma), and is closely related to the Dulong language spoken in China. Rawang manifests a kind of hierarchical person marking on the predicate which marks first person primarily (in several different ways - suffixes, change of final consonant, vowel length - and up to five times within one verb complex), and second person indirectly with a sort of marking similar to the inverse marking found in some North American languages: it appears when there is a first person participant, but that referent is not the actor, and when the second person is a participant. This system is quite different from those that reflect semantic role (e.g. Qiang) or grammatical relations (e.g. English).
Word-class-changing derivations in Rawang
Randy J. LaPolla
- Rawang [...] is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by people who live in the far north of Kachin State in Myanmar (Burma), particularly along the Mae Hka ('Nmai Hka) and Maeli Hka (Mali Hka) river valleys (see map on back page); population unknown, although Ethnologue gives 100,000. In the past they had been called ‘Nung’, or (mistakenly) ‘Hkanung’, and are considered to be a sub-group of the Kachin by the Myanmar government. Until government policies put a stop to the clearing of new land in 1994, the Rawang speakers still practiced slash and burn farming on the mountainsides (they still do a bit, but only on already claimed land), in conjunction with planting paddy rice near the river. They are closely related to people on the other side of the Chinese border in Yunnan classified as either Dulong or Nu(ng) (see LaPolla 2001, 2003 on the Dulong language). In this paper, I will be discussing the word-class-changing constructions found in Rawang, using data of the Mvtwang (Mvt River) dialect of Rawang, which is considered the most central of those dialects in Myanmar and so has become something of a standard for writing and inter-group communication.