LRF 01: A Synoptic Glossary of Athpare, Belhare, and Yakkha with further contributions

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A Synoptic Glossary of Athpare, Belhare, and Yakkha with further contributions

Findings of the "Linguistic Survey of Nepal"

Werner Winter, Alfons K. Weidert, Gerd Hansson (ed.) & D. Bickram Ingwaba Subba.

Athpare, Belhare and Yakkha are three closely related, but clearly distinct Tibeto-Burman languages within the Kiranti group in the eastern hills of Nepal. The Kiranti languages, most of them little-known and vanishing idioms, have become famous for their polysynthetic and "head-governed" morphosyntax ("complex pronominalization" in earlier literature on Himalayish). The three languages in question are comparatively closely related to Limbu as the most important Kiranti language with regard to the number of speakers (about 200.000 in Nepal).
The glossary presents data compiled within the "Linguistic Survey of Nepal" (LSN), a German-Nepalese field-project in the 1980ies which was the first linguistic inspection of the Kiranti group in its entirety. The presented lexical materials are based upon word lists compiled by the late A.K. Weidert (1981-84 chief supervizor of the LSN) and D.B. Ingwaba Subba (co-author of Weidert/ Subba: "Concise Limbu Grammar and Dictionary", Amsterdam 1985: Lobster), a native speaker of Limbu. The unpublished materials have been enlarged with further LSN-materials compiled and arranged by W. Winter (erstwhile director of the LSN and head of the Linguistic Department at the University of Kiel, retired in 1991) and G. Hansson (1980-86 research assistant of LSN); the ultimate version comprises a glossary English - Athpare - Belhare - Yakkha with about 850 English items. The materials include data from lesser-known local varieties of Yakkha and from the little-known Khalsali-dialect of Athpare, which is sometimes regarded as a distinct language.
Since further in-depth studies in (Dhankuteli-) Athpare and Belhare have been carried out in the meantime, most attention in the descriptions is paid to Yakkha as a little-known language that needs further field-studies in future. Therefore the editor has added an essay with tentative analyses in the difficult verb morphology of Yakkha with a systematic list of about 250 extracted verb stems. Yakkha has a developed rather complex morphophonological patterns (e.g., prenasalization and/ or sonorization of initial consonants with several grammatical functions) and categorial features of its own (e.g., a second number-like agreement pattern "individual vs. mass" between the verbal predicate and the absolutive besides the common Kiranti pattern of number agreement) which look rather interesting also for general and typological linguistics.

ISBN 9783895860669. Linguistic Research Forum 01. 120pp. 1998.

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