Diachronic aspects of Bjokapakha epistemic verbal morphology
The role of nominalisers and copulas
Bjokapakha belongs to the Tshangla cluster of the Trans-Himalayan (Tibeto-Burman) language family and is spoken in Central Bhutan. Like many languages of the Himalayan region, Bjokapakha exhibits a rich system of epistemic functions, centering around the notion of personal or subjective knowledge (a.k.a. egophoricity, conjunct-disjunct or mirativity). Morphosyntactically, the epistemic categories of Bjokapakha are expressed by constructions involving combinations of nominalisers and copulas which exhibit varying degrees of grammaticalisation. This paper presents the epistemic categories of Bjokapakha and examines the genesis of the Bjokapakha epistemic verbal system from a comparative perspective drawing on insights from other varieties of the Tshangla cluster. Furthermore, a first reconstruction of the nominalisers and copulas of Proto-Tshangla is proposed. It will become evident that nominalisers and copulas have played a crucial role in the emergence of epistemic verbal morphology of Bjokapakha and still constitute productive means for the grammaticalisation of new epistemic categories.
Keywords: Bjokapakha, Tshangla, Trans-Himalayan, epistemic categories, grammaticalisation, nominalisation, copulas, internal reconstruction, historical-comparative linguistics, egophoricity, mirative, factual
- 1.1Bjokapakha and Tshangla
- 1.2Epistemic verbal morphology in the Tshangla cluster
- 1.2.1Terminological remarks
- 1.2.2Epistemic morphology in Standard Tshangla
- Verbal morphology
- 1.2.3Epistemic morphology in minor Tshangla varieties
- 3.Grammaticalised verbal markers
- 3.2Past tense
- 4.Periphrastic constructions with the copula gɨ-
- 4.1The subjective marker -(n)lo plus gɨla
- 4.2The reification marker -soŋ plus gɨla
- 5.The role of nominalisers and copulas in the genesis of the epistemic system of Bjokapakha
- 5.1Non-verbal clauses with copulas (Type A)
- 5.2Analytic constructions involving productive nominalisers and copulas (Type B)
- 5.3Finite fusional morphology from copulas and productive nominalisers (Type C)
- 5.4Finite fusional morphology from copulas and fossilised nominalisers (Type D)
Published online: 28 August 2020
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Cited by 1 other publications
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