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Title: Non-Spatial Setting in White Hmong
Authors: White, Nathan M.
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Hmong-Mien languages
White Hmong - Grammar
Non-spatial Setting
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Trinity Western University
Abstract: Dixon (2010a,b, 2012) presents an excellent introduction to a framework for documenting a language’s grammar. One portion of this framework is the marking of Non-spatial Setting, that is, the grammatical coding of marking of time, aspect, and other material in the verbal system. The primary aim of this thesis is to apply this portion of Dixon’s framework to White Hmong (Hmong-Mien, Laos) by describing the system of Non-spatial Setting in this language. The thesis first looks at the Non-spatial Setting systems of typologically-similar languages from the region, continues by considering what it means for a word to be grammaticalized, and then provides a lengthy discussion on the Non-spatial Setting system of White Hmong itself. It is found that White Hmong possesses a robust system of Non-spatial Setting markers. These include several classes of Lexical Time Words as well as positive and negative Irrealis marking intertwined with a system of marking Modality, which itself includes a number of Modals and Semi-modals as well as one adverb. In addition, there is a set of Degree of Certainty markers made up of seven morphemes at two levels of certainty, high and moderate, and there is a group of Secondary verbs (following the terminology of Dixon 2006) that mark Phase of Activity. There are also five Completion morphemes—three of which mark distinct types of Perfect and two Imperfect—and two Completion-marking strategies, namely, an Attainment Serial Verb Construction (terminology following Jarkey 2004) for the Perfect and reduplication for the Imperfect. Finally, there is one Speed and Ease morpheme that marks slowness. Some implications that the system of White Hmong has for Non-spatial Setting in general are also briefly discussed.
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