University of Zürich
Chamling is a Kiranti language spoken by approximately 10,000 people in a remote area of Eastern Nepali. The number of speakers is rapidly decreasing, as the language is no longer learned by children. Chamling has SOV word order and split ergativity, with 1st and 2nd person construed in an accusative pattern. There is very little evidence for ergative syntax. Higher and lower location plays an important role not only in the lexicon and deictic system, but is also grammaticalized in a series of local case markers. Like all eastern Kiranti languages, Chamling is characterized by a highly complex verb morphology. Eleven persons - with duals, plurals, inclusive, exclusive - are marked on the verb in actor and undergoer function. In the western dialect there are traces of an older inverse system, which the eastern dialect has replaced by 1st person undergoer markers and subject agreement. The complex verb forms are retained before most subordinators and in both members of a compound verb. All Chamling data are from the author's fieldwork in Nepal. There are no previous descriptions of Chamling.
ISBN 9783895860379. Languages of the World/Materials 103. 63 pp. 1997.