Khamti Shan anti-ergative construction
A Tibeto-Burman influence?
It is widely recognized that Khamti Shan is unique among Tai languages in evidencing a basic (A)OV word order, quite likely due to extensive language contact with Tibeto-Burman languages. Much less recognized in Khamti Shan is that some functional objects take a postposition marker, revealing a striking, but not necessarily unexpected, resemblance to a Tibeto-Burman-like anti-ergative construction. The deictic mai² ‘here’ grammaticalizes an anti-ergative function in which it acts as a marker for certain monotransitive ‘objects’ which are analyzed as pragmatically foregrounded referents in the information structure of the sentence.
- 2.Where it all begins: Proximal deictic mai²
- 3.The anti-ergative construction in Khamti Shan
- 3.1Preliminaries to the anti-ergative construction
- 3.2Monotransitive clauses
- 3.2.1The foregrounded O-mai² V pattern
- 3.2.2The neutral OV pattern
- 3.2.3The backgrounded VO pattern
Published online: 05 April 2018
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