Edited by Elena Mihas, Bernard Perley, Gabriel Rei-Doval and Kathleen Wheatley
[Studies in Language Companion Series 142] 2013
► pp. 97–118
Converb and aspect-marking polysemy in Nar
This analysis responds to Michael Noonan’s call to embrace the messiness and complexities of grammar found in natural language use, continuing the tradition of undertaking rich, deep investigations of a critically endangered, under-documented language (Nar, Tibeto-Burman, Nepal). It is an examination of the polysemy between a set of non-finite and finite markers in Nar. This paper revises Noonan’s labeling to better reflect their distribution in varied contexts. Non-finite -ce is analyzed as a perfective converb and -te is an imperfective converb, as demonstrated via syntactic and semantic properties. In final position, -ce is a gnomic perfective aspect marker and final -te is a general imperfective aspect marker. These labels more accurately reflect their situational and temporal semantics.
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