Article published in:Cross-linguistic Semantics of Tense, Aspect, and Modality
Edited by Lotte Hogeweg, Helen de Hoop and Andrej L. Malchukov
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 148] 2009
► pp. 131–154
The grammaticalised use of the Burmese verbs la ‘come’ and thwà ‘go’
This paper describes the grammatical uses of the Burmese motion verbs la ‘come’ and thwà ‘go’. The verbal markers -la ‘come’ and thwà ‘go’ fulfil different functionsaccording to (1) the semantics of the verb they modify, (2) the way in whichevents are represented in the clause/sentence, and (3) the context of occurrencein which -la ‘come’, and thwà ‘go’ appear. With motion verbs, they expressdirectionality of motion of the participants in the speech act. With non-motionverbs, they function as inchoative markers, i.e. as markers of a change in theentity’s state. In addition, thwà ‘go’ is used in clauses/sentences to mark the decreasedsalience of the Agent and the correspondent increased salience of the Undergoer.This function of thwà ‘go’ will be compared with the function of -lai ‘follow’, derived from the motion verb lai ‘follow’, which is used to mark a high degree oftransitivity of the clause.
Published online: 30 November 2009