Chapter published in:Argument Selectors: A new perspective on grammatical relations
Edited by Alena Witzlack-Makarevich and Balthasar Bickel
[Typological Studies in Language 123] 2019
► pp. 469–510
Grammatical relations in Yakkha (Kiranti)
This article provides an analysis of the grammatical relations in Yakkha (Tibeto-Burman, Kiranti; Eastern Nepal). The study is based on the typological-theoretical framework established in Bickel (2011a) and Witzlack-Makarevich (2011). Yakkha does not have a dominant grammatical relation. It is rather a prime example for how diverse alignment patterns can be in a single language. The alignment patterns established by some argument selectors are role-based (i.e. accusative, ergative, etc.), while other argument selectors, particularly the verbal person marking, prefer reference-based selection principles. The verbal person marking is the core around which all morphosyntactic processes revolve. An intransitive and a transitive inflectional paradigms can be distinguished. Combined with different case marking options, several verb frames can be identified. Yakkha also has a number of operations affecting valency and transitivity. This article discusses the causative, the benefactive, the reflexive, the reciprocal, the middle, as well as the unmarked passive and antipassive. Yakkha also has a number of biclausal argument selectors: Whereas converbal clauses and participant nominalization show accusative alignment, relativization shows ergative alignment.
Published online: 05 March 2019
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