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Title: On the Structure of Nominal Phrases in Dzongkha
Authors: Gelles, Bryan Donald
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Tibeto-Burman Languages
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: San Diego State University
Abstract: Very little is known about the syntactic structure of Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan. Furthermore, no published work has attempted to account for the structure of this vulnerable language using a theory of syntax. The purpose of this paper is to document the syntactic structure of nominal phrases in Dzongkha, focusing on the isolated nominal phrase (though discourse situations do arise and are addressed). Drawing on information related to the placement in the phrase, what can and cannot co-occur, as well as the semantic scope of the different modifiers, this paper analyzes the structural hierarchy using the Minimalist Program as the syntactic theory of choice. All the data used has been collected from a single native speaker of Dzongkha who was born and raised in western Bhutan. Because discourse as well as sentential placement of nominal phrases is only briefly addressed, further research is needed to clarify how these structures fit into the larger picture of a sentence as well as a discourse.
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