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Title: A comparison of imperfectivity in Leinong Naga, Burmese, and Lisu
Authors: Gwa [Esther Wayesha]
Ohn Mar Htun
Keywords: Tibeto-Burman Languages
Leinong Naga - Imperfectivity
Burmese - Imperfectivity
Lisu - Imperfectivity
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Payap University (Tailandia)
Abstract: Using traditional grammar theory, this thesis looks at how aspect of imperfectivity is expressed in three Tibeto-Burman languages; Burmese, Lisu, and Leinong Naga. In each language three verbal particles alone, and in combination, are found to mark incomplete (imperfective) states of affairs. This thesis especially focuses on colloquial Burmese spoken near Ma ndalay, the Northern Lisu dialect of Lisu, and Leinong Naga of Naga. Burmese, Lisu, and Leinong Naga are all verb final, tonal, and have little morphology. Burmese belongs to Burmish and Lisu is in the Loloish group of Burmese-Lolo branch of Tibeto-Burman language family. Leinong Naga is one of the Naga varieties found in Burma and India. It belongs to the Northern Naga group which belongs to the Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga branch of the Tibeto-Burman language family. Leinong Naga is one of the unwritten languages of the Burmese ethnic groups. This research shows that mperfective behavior is expressed differently depending on the verbs (event types) which the verbal particles interact with. Multiple event types,such as states (including stage-level property and individual-level property states, and resultant state), activities, accomplishments, and achievements are needed to describe the imperfectivity behavior in these languages. It concludes that in these three languages, imperfectivity is expressed by means of verbal particles. However, between languages these particles do not show one to one equivalent semantic content to each other. Behavior of imperfective denotations in these languages largely depends on the kinds of verbs the verbal particles interact with.
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