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Title: An Investigation of Multi-Verb Constructions in Hmong Ntsuab
Authors: Meister, Elizabeth
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Chinese Languages
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Payap University
Abstract: This research study focuses on Hmong Ntsuab, a Hmong-Mien language spoken primarily in China, Southeast Asia, Australia, the United States, and France. It is also known as Green Hmong, Mong Njua, Mong Leeg, Striped Mong, or Blue Hmong (Taweesak 1984: 3). Hmong Ntsuab makes wide use of multi verb constructions. This study clarifies some of the ambiguity of these types of constructions and offers the following contributions: It provides a documentation of multi-verb constructions in Hmong Ntsuab based on data elicited from five native speakers, a classification of these multi-verb constructions according to structural categories, a description of how the verbs in these constructions pattern within each category based on constituency testing, and a response to the SVC theoretical disagreements which provides a way forward into serial verb research, suggesting a classification of multi-verb constructions based on the semantic and syntactic patterning of the verbs. This research employs a descriptive approach to analyzing multi-verb constructions, as modeled by N. J. Enfield in his study of multi-verb constructions in Lao (2008). Through specific constituency testing, unique inter-verb relationships are displayed in grammatical characteristics, including patterns of distribution, clause separability, and headship. Findings show that multi-verb constructions in different structural categories display some different grammatical properties and multi-verb constructions in the same category display a similar set of grammatical properties.
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