[Lingtyp] new open-access grammar: Yakkha (Tibeto-Burman), published by Language Science Press

Martin Haspelmath haspelmath at shh.mpg.de
Thu Nov 26 10:41:47 UTC 2015

Lingtyp readers may be interested in a new book in LangSci's series
"Studies in Diversity Linguistics":

Schackow, Diana. 2015. A grammar of Yakkha (Studies in Diversity Linguistics 7).
Berlin: Language Science Press.

This is one of the most detailed grammars of a Kiranti language (Glottolog:
http://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/yakk1236  <http://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/mauw1238>). It is written
accessibly and with a typological readership in mind.

Free download at:
http://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/66  <http://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/67>  (Printed copy also available,
via print on demand.)

Please consider submitting a book manuscript (monograph or edited
volume, descriptive or typological) to "Studies in Diversity Linguistics".

Best wishes,


This grammar provides the first comprehensive grammatical description of 
Yakkha, a Sino-Tibetan language of the Kiranti branch.

Yakkha is spoken by about 14,000 speakers in eastern Nepal, in the 
Sankhuwa Sabha and Dhankuta districts. The grammar is based on original 
fieldwork in the Yakkha community. Its primary source of data is a 
corpus of 13,000 clauses from narratives and naturally-occurring social 
interaction which the author recorded and transcribed between 2009 and 
2012. Corpus analyses were complemented by targeted elicitation. The 
grammar is written in a functional-typological framework. It focusses on 
morphosyntactic and semantic issues, as these present highly complex and 
comparatively under-researched fields in Kiranti languages. The sequence 
of the chapters follows the well-established order of phonological, 
morphological, syntactic and discourse-structural descriptions. These 
are supplemented by a historical and sociolinguistic introduction as 
well as an analysis of the complex kinship terminology. Topics such as 
verbal person marking, argument structure, transitivity, complex 
predication, grammatical relations, clause linkage, nominalization, and 
the topography-based orientation system have received in-depth 
treatment. Wherever possible, the structures found were explained in a 
historical-comparative perspective in order to shed more light on how 
their particular properties have emerged.

Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10	
D-07745 Jena
Leipzig University
Beethovenstrasse 15
D-04107 Leipzig

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