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postgraduate thesis: A grammar of Sanjiang Kam

TitleA grammar of Sanjiang Kam
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wu, M. [吳滿香]. (2015). A grammar of Sanjiang Kam. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5610977
AbstractKam is spoken mainly in the adjacent areas of Guizhou province, Hunan province, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. It is a member of the Kam-Tai branch of the Tai-Kadai language family. Kam is broadly classified into the northern dialect and the southern dialect, which are separate but related varieties. This thesis is the first descriptive grammar of Sanjiang Kam, a less studied southern Kam dialect. As influence from Mandarin Chinese is still limited, the southern dialect is thus generally considered to be more conservative compared with the northern dialect. Sanjiang Kam as used in Sanjiang Dong Nationality Autonomous County in particular shows conservatism in both its phonology and grammar. Without commitment to any particular theoretical framework, this thesis aims to provide an extensive grammatical description of Sanjiang Kam. The data for this description come from various sources. The author is a native speaker of Sanjiang Kam, thus a major source of data was obtained from the author’s family members and other Kam people of the Meilin village. Another important source comes from the author’s fieldwork notes and records. There are over 100 audio-recordings covering interviews, spontaneous conversations and folk songs. Some sample texts are transcribed and provided in the appendices. Phonologically, Sanjiang Kam possesses a complex and conservative sound system, known for its system of up to 15 phonetic tones. Grammatically, Sanjiang Kam is a typical SVO language, showing a strong preference for head-initial structures in both the noun phrases and verb phrases. Relativization is predominantly postnominal as in other head-initial languages, while prenominal relative clauses can be attributed to influence from a local Chinese dialect Guiliu. Nominalization is achieved through two sources: first classifiers are used as nominalizers, a very productive process in Sanjiang Kam; second the use of zero-nominalization where the nominalized constructions are morphologically unmarked. A characteristic of Sanjiang Kam is that many words exhibit multiple functions; that is, they are polyfunctional. An example is pən which can function as a classifier, a possessive marker, and a nominalizers. The thesis contains eight chapters. The first chapter provides background information on the people, the culture, and the language of the Kam communities. The next seven chapters give a grammatical description of Sanjiang Kam, including discussions on the sound system, word formation processes, parts of speech, and tense and aspect systems. Chapters 6 and 7 provide syntactic analysis of simple and complex sentences. The final chapter is devoted to a specific grammatical process –nominalization. As contact with varieties of Chinese becomes increasingly frequent, the grammar of Kam begins to shows more and more non-native features. This is evident in the amount of Chinese features in the northern Kam dialect. The significance of this work is twofold: it offers a comprehensive grammatical description of the less researched Sanjiang Kam; it is also an important addition to language description and language documentation literature.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectDong language (China) - Grammar
Dept/ProgramLinguistics
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221219

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWu, Manxiang-
dc.contributor.author吳滿香-
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-04T23:12:01Z-
dc.date.available2015-11-04T23:12:01Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationWu, M. [吳滿香]. (2015). A grammar of Sanjiang Kam. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5610977-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221219-
dc.description.abstractKam is spoken mainly in the adjacent areas of Guizhou province, Hunan province, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. It is a member of the Kam-Tai branch of the Tai-Kadai language family. Kam is broadly classified into the northern dialect and the southern dialect, which are separate but related varieties. This thesis is the first descriptive grammar of Sanjiang Kam, a less studied southern Kam dialect. As influence from Mandarin Chinese is still limited, the southern dialect is thus generally considered to be more conservative compared with the northern dialect. Sanjiang Kam as used in Sanjiang Dong Nationality Autonomous County in particular shows conservatism in both its phonology and grammar. Without commitment to any particular theoretical framework, this thesis aims to provide an extensive grammatical description of Sanjiang Kam. The data for this description come from various sources. The author is a native speaker of Sanjiang Kam, thus a major source of data was obtained from the author’s family members and other Kam people of the Meilin village. Another important source comes from the author’s fieldwork notes and records. There are over 100 audio-recordings covering interviews, spontaneous conversations and folk songs. Some sample texts are transcribed and provided in the appendices. Phonologically, Sanjiang Kam possesses a complex and conservative sound system, known for its system of up to 15 phonetic tones. Grammatically, Sanjiang Kam is a typical SVO language, showing a strong preference for head-initial structures in both the noun phrases and verb phrases. Relativization is predominantly postnominal as in other head-initial languages, while prenominal relative clauses can be attributed to influence from a local Chinese dialect Guiliu. Nominalization is achieved through two sources: first classifiers are used as nominalizers, a very productive process in Sanjiang Kam; second the use of zero-nominalization where the nominalized constructions are morphologically unmarked. A characteristic of Sanjiang Kam is that many words exhibit multiple functions; that is, they are polyfunctional. An example is pən which can function as a classifier, a possessive marker, and a nominalizers. The thesis contains eight chapters. The first chapter provides background information on the people, the culture, and the language of the Kam communities. The next seven chapters give a grammatical description of Sanjiang Kam, including discussions on the sound system, word formation processes, parts of speech, and tense and aspect systems. Chapters 6 and 7 provide syntactic analysis of simple and complex sentences. The final chapter is devoted to a specific grammatical process –nominalization. As contact with varieties of Chinese becomes increasingly frequent, the grammar of Kam begins to shows more and more non-native features. This is evident in the amount of Chinese features in the northern Kam dialect. The significance of this work is twofold: it offers a comprehensive grammatical description of the less researched Sanjiang Kam; it is also an important addition to language description and language documentation literature.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshDong language (China) - Grammar-
dc.titleA grammar of Sanjiang Kam-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5610977-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLinguistics-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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