A Reference Grammar of Dhimal
Tribhuvan University, Nepal
This study analyzes the grammar of Dhimal, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the far eastern Tarai region of Nepal in the framework of the functional-typological grammar developed by Givón (2001a, b). According to the census (2011), the total number of the Dhimal is 26, 298 which comprise 0.09% of the total population of Nepal. The main objective of this study is to prepare a reference grammar of Dhimal. Most of the examples presented in this study are drawn from naturally occurring texts.
In this study, Dhimal lexicon is categorized in terms of the major and minor word classes. Simple clauses are broadly classified as non-verbal and verbal predicates. Dhimal employs the nominative-accusative case marking scheme. Dhimal is an SOV ordered language. However, the constituents of the clause may be permuted within the clause for pragmatic purposes. Dhimal exhibits morphologically marked past, present and future tenses. Personal pronouns show three persons and three numbers distinction. Honorificity exhibits neutral vs. affinal contrast. The grammar of pronouns and grammatical agreement are morphological devices to encode the referential coherence. Verbs with clausal complements include modal-aspectual, manipulation and perception-cognition-utterance verbs.
Causativization is primarily morphological. The widely used way to put the verb of the relative clause is in nominalized form. Discourse particles, intonation and constituent order may be utilized in contrastive focus and marked topic constructions. The non-declarative speech acts include interrogative, imperative, optative, hortative and imperious types. The adverbial subordinate clauses are either marked through the subordinating morphemes attached to the dependent clause or through the special non-finite verb forms. Dhimal exhibits a number of typologically interesting features.
The author (PhD in linguistics) is a lecturer in linguistics at Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He has specialized in Tibeto-Burman linguistics, language documentation and linguistic field-work.
ISBN 9783862888245. Languages of the World/Materials 508. 314pp. 2017.