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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 9: Concluding Statement


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Concluding Statement

Looking back

As a language of one of the prominent ‘tribes’ in Northeast India, Bodo has received a significant amount of attention since research was first conducted on Tibeto-Burman languages. From tiny sketch grammars to moderate descriptive works, from academic research to pedagogic language materials, Bodo has probably been the subject of more work than any other Tibeto-Burman language in Northeast India. Despite the existence of quite a bit of research on Bodo, it is my opinion, as well as that of other linguists, that there is a need for serious academic work which is empirically sound and based on ‘natural’ and stylistically diverse data. Moreover, it is time we change our approach to the study of a Tibeto-Burman language like Bodo, and treat the language in its own right instead of trying to impose the categories of English or Assamese.

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