A Grammar of Lhowa
Dan Raj Regmi, Ambika Regmi & Jamyang Gelek Gurung
Tribhuvan University, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University
This grammar, within the framework of adaptive approach, describes and analyzes phonological and grammatical codes in Lhowa, a southern Tibetic language, and compares them with those in Lhasa Tibetan and other Central Bodish languages from typological perspective. Lhowa, a tonal language, exhibits high-front and mid-front rounded vowels, murmured plosives and voiceless lateral.
Typologically, it is an agglutinating and consistently ergative language. Nouns are not marked for grammatical gender and number for agreement in the complex of the verbs. However, they are marked for three numbers (viz., singular vs. dual vs. plural) and twelve case-roles. Lhowa distinguishes personal pronouns in terms of social standing (viz., ordinary vs. honorific) and clusivity (viz., inclusive vs. exclusive) in the first person plural. Adjectives, numerals and quantifiers follow the nouns whereas demonstratives and possessive pronouns precede the nouns.
In Lhowa, tense markers interact with aspect, modality and evidentiality. Besides, Lhowa presents a verb agreement system which is closely related to conjuct-disjunct distinction. Especially, egophoricity (viz., marking distinctly for the first person) in the past tense is governed exclusively by volitionality. Egophoricity is also evident in essential and existential copulas. Like in Tibetan, tense is deduced from the general context of the text. Lhowa, a dependent marking and extremely nominalizing language, registers non-promotional type of passive. As a Tibetic language, Lhowa shares a number of phonological and grammatical coding devices with Lhasa Tibetan and languages belonging to gTsang cluster of Central Bodish. However, due to inter-language contact, Lhowa exhibits some contact induced changes in the phonological and grammatical coding devices which Lhasa Tibetan and other members of gTsang cluster do not normally display.
The co-author, Dr. Dan Raj Regmi, is Professor and former Head of Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
The co-author, Dr. Ambika Regmi, has worked as the senior researcher in Linguistic Survey of Nepal (LinSuN), Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
The co-author, Mr. Jamyang Gelek Gurung, a native speaker of Lhowa, is a young and dedicated activist for the preservation, promotion and development of his mother tongue.
ISBN 9783969391396 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 98. 224 pp. 2023.