Grammaticalized sources of Kurtöp verbal morphology
On the development of mirativity versus egophoricity in the Himalayas
Kurtöp (Tibeto-Burman; Bhutan) has a rich set of finite verbal suffixes which encode evidentiality, mirativity, and egophoricity. This article examines the origins of these suffixes in a typological context, showing how many of them have developed via recent grammaticalizations. Synchronic processes of nominalization and clause-chaining have provided the ideal syntactic contexts for these grammaticalizations to take place. Many of the grammaticalization pathways found here are shown to be typologically common, such as ‘give’ becoming an applicative. We find one suffix, the egophoric, which is an obvious borrowing. Based on the data presented here, this article puts forth the tentative hypothesis that due to principles of iconicity, miratives will tend to be recent grammaticalizations. Similarly, the fact that the Kurtöp egophoric has been borrowed is also, arguably, iconic.
Keywords: grammaticalization, clause-chaining, nominalization, Kurtöp, Tibeto-Burman, mirativity, egophoricity, iconicity
Published online: 06 May 2020
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