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Title: A Descriptive Study of Akha Sentence Final Particles
Authors: Kya Heh, Noel
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Tibeto-Burman Languages
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Payap University
Abstract: Akha sentence final particles, like those of other Yi-Burmese languages of the TibetoBurman language family, play a very important role in the grammar. These small dependent grammatical units not only determine whether a statement is factual, evidential, predictive, or conjecture, but also disclose the attitude and emotion of the speaker. This thesis is part of a larger effort to understand the role of particles in Akha-Hani dialects specifically, and in Yi-Burmese languages generally. The goal of this thesis is to describe the structure and function of the Akha sentence final particles as spoken by Jerway dialect speakers. This thesis will first and foremost serve a descriptive purpose. It is hoped that this description will serve as inspiration for scholars interested in the theoretical implications of particle usage in southeast Asia. The data of this research is from a variety of resources such as recorded texts, observed conversation, and personal knowledge. Most of the declaratives, and some of the jussives and interrogatives are from selected tales published by Paul Lewis (1989). The remaining examples were drawn from observations of daily communication and personal knowledge, since the researcher himself is a native speaker of the Jerway dialect. Although Akha exhibits many phrase level particles, this research focuses solely on the 87 sentence final particles. These particles were then sorted into three broad categories based on sentence type: declaratives, jussives, and interrogatives. The particles that do not fit into any of the three categories are presented in a miscellaneous category. Each particle is described in terms of its structure and function: the structure is elaborated in examples and the functions are summarized in tables which describe sentence type restrictions, subject-person reference restrictions, temporal reference and polarity marking. Particles that have similar phonetics, structures and functions are carefully compared and contrasted to each other so that each particle can be thoroughly understood. Each particle is given a technical identification code number for category identification as well for easier reference in cross-sectional discussion.
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