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Title: A Preliminary Study of Hani as a Patient Marking Language
Authors: Lee, Tak Yee
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: The University of Hong Kong
Abstract: Using LaPolla’s previous analysis on Tibeto-Burman (1994, 1995, 2003) as mypreliminary analytical framework, this study sets out to explore the case assignment in Hani. By excerpting and analysing case-marked examples from several publications on Hani, it aims to formulate the case assignment pattern of Hani, which is said to be semantically based. It is found that: (1) most Hani sentences are unmarked: case marking is only applied when there is a need to disambiguate semantic roles; (2) when marked, Hani sentences are mostly patient marked: the use of patient marker far out-numbers the use of agentive marker and indirect object marker. In addition, in the Hani story of my investigation, it is found that the case assignment pattern in Hani is as follows: S (ø) V S (ø) O (ø) V S (ø) O (PAT) V O (IndObj) V O (ø) S (AGT) V Other possible patterns according to Li & Wang (1986), but which did not appear in the text of my investigation are: S (AGT) O (PAT) V S (AGT) O (ø) V The findings of this study enable us to have an understanding of how word order and semantic roles affect the choice of case-assignment in the semantically based case system of Hani.
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