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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 6: Complex Verbal Constructions


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Complex Verbal Constructions


In Chapter 5, I discussed inflectional morphemes that ‘ground’ the events expressed by the verbal stems within a discourse world by establishing its relative time, by expressing the internal temporal organization of the event, by indicating the type of action the speaker wants to achieve through the sentence, and similar information. Syntactically, it is these inflectional morphemes that help a verbal stem form the predication of a sentence. One might have noticed that all the verbal predicates I have considered so far are simple in that they consist of a single word – both phonologically and grammatically. The following example illustrates such a simple predication.

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