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Verbal Semantics in a Tibeto-Burman Language

The Bodo Verb

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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 7: Clausal Constructions

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CHAPTER 7

Clausal Constructions

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So far, I have discussed the internal structure of the verb complex in terms of its morphology and its other constituents. I have talked about the formation of complex stems (Chapter 4), their inflectional coding (Chapter 5), and verbal forms that consist of more than one grammatical word (Chapter 6). The present chapter will take up the syntactic distribution and function of the simple and complex verb forms in different clausal constructions – both single and multi-clausal constructions. I will start by looking at the single-clause construction, traditionally called the simple sentence. Different speech-act types will be discussed with reference to simple sentences, namely, declarative sentences, imperative sentences, and interrogative sentences. Subsequently, multi-clausal constructions will be examined, in terms of complex sentences, co-ordinated sentences, chained clauses, and relative clause constructions.

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