A Reference Grammar of Ersu, a Tibeto-Burman Language of China
Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, James Cook University
Ersu is an underdocumented Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the southwest of China. It is a head-marking, verb-final, tonal and agglutinative language with an isolating tendency. It has a complex phonological system. Reduplication, compounding, affixation and cliticization are attested in word formation. The canonical constituent order of a simple clause is AOV/SV. However, the syntactic constituent order may also vary due to pragmatic motivations. “Tail-head” linkage strategy is frequently used in discourse. Ellipses occur quite often in speaking and a speech act participant is seldom mentioned. “Topic-comment” constructions occur with high frequency.
The grammar consists of 14 chapters that covers almost all the respects of the language such as phonology, word classes, nouns and nominal morphology, noun phrases, numeral systems, nominal and verbal action classification systems, verbs and verb phrases, aspect system, mood and modality, the expression of knowledge, clause types and clause combining, discourse analysis and discourse organization, language change and language endangerment.
The production of this book is based on the author’s PhD thesis, which was commented as a model grammar for a Tibeto-Burman language by one of the examiners. The book fills an important lacuna in the descriptive literature of linguistic typology.
ISBN 9783862886951 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 85. 602pp. 2016.