INTERNAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE DUMI VERB : LEXICAL BASES AND STEM FORMATION Article - Octobre 2012

Boyd Michailovsky

Boyd Michailovsky, « INTERNAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE DUMI VERB : LEXICAL BASES AND STEM FORMATION  », Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, octobre 2012, pp. 49-87. ISSN 0731-3500

Abstract

Dumi (Tibeto-Burman, Nepal ; ISO 639-3 : dus) is a member of the Kiranti group, which is well known for its complex verbal morphology. Within Kiranti, Dumi and its closest neighbors, Khaling, Thulung, and Bahing, are noted for their rich systems of up to 10 vowels, and for the variety of alternations affecting verb stems. Using the data provided in the description by van Driem (1993), I show that an internally reconstructed base form, having essentially the structure of a Dumi phonological syllable (C i)V(C f) optionally followed by a stem augment T, contains all the information necessary to distinguish one regular Dumi verb from another, barring homonymy. A table of these base forms by extended rime, with rows representing final and postfinal consonants and columns representing the 5 reconstructed base vowels, defines the space of possible Dumi verb bases. I then show how the observed stem alternants (between one and five or more) of individual Dumi verbs, analysed into component alternations conditioned by different phonological and morphological contexts, are related to the base form. A final section presents phonological and morphological principles that have influenced the stem alternations, in the context of Kiranti typology and comparison. An index of all verb lexemes found in the source, with their reconstructed roots, classified by rime, is presented in an online appendix (http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00679576 ; oai:halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr:halshs-00679576).

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