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Verbal Semantics in a Tibeto-Burman Language

The Bodo Verb


Prafulla Basumatary

The aim of this book is to provide a comprehensive description of the verbal system of Bodo, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Northeast India, particularly Assam. The description is primarily based on a 1.2-million-word Bodo corpus, both written and spoken, involving different genres.

This is the first extensive work solely devoted to the description of the Bodo verb. The book provides a thorough description of the Bodo verb that will be comprehensive enough to be of use to Tibeto-Burmanists, on the one hand, and to language typologists, on the other. Second, it addresses certain pedagogic issues relating to the teaching of the Bodo language in schools.

The book encompasses a description of verbal roots, formation of verbal stems, inflection of verbal stems, and distribution of various verb forms in different types of clauses, such as independent clauses, embedded clauses, and chained clauses. Finally, a pedagogic perspective is provided with reference to the morphosyntactic aspects of the Bodo verb.

This book was the winner of the 2016 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Linguistics.

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Chapter 2: Literature Review


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Literature Review


Before I undertake a review of the existing literature in Bodo, I want to begin this chapter with a philosophical note – knowledge proceeds; new knowledge is built on old knowledge; even though new knowledge may not be complete or may be challenged. When a new idea or new knowledge is applied, new discoveries and inventions are made. In this regard, the inventions of science and technology, especially information technology, have revolutionized the world and these have a direct impact on linguistic science, among other disciplines. Thus, any linguistic idea or work that was considered important or relevant at one point in time may not be considered important and relevant now. It needs to be made clear that the purpose of this review is not to denigrate the work of the scholars, but to build on their knowledge.

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