[Lingtyp] Verbal person-number indexing reconstructed for a family/deeper subfamily?

Randy J. LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 02:40:26 UTC 2018

Dear Ilja,
There is controversy about whether the system of person marking found in a group of languages within the Tibeto-Burman branch of Sino-Tibetan languages (one of quite a few such systems) constitutes a shared retention or a shared innovation, but here is a reference to a paper of mine reconstructing the system and arguing that it is a shared innovation within a particular branch of Tibeto-Burman, as the forms are clearly derived from the free pronouns, and are distributed along a known migration pathway, and are not found in any of the older languages of the family aside from a very transparent seminal form of the paradigm in Tangut, and the system is paralleled in other language groups with similar systems transparently formed from different sets of free pronouns:

LaPolla, Randy J. 2013. Subgrouping in Tibeto-Burman: Can an individual-identifying standard be developed?  How do we factor in the history of migrations and language contact? In Balthasar Bickel, Lenore A. Grenoble, David A. Peterson, & Alan Timberlake (eds.), Language typology and historical contingency, 463-474. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Pub Co.
www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2013_Subgrouping_in_Tibeto-Burman.pdf <http://www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2013_Subgrouping_in_Tibeto-Burman.pdf> 

Related papers:

LaPolla, Randy J. 1992. On the dating and nature of verb agreement in Tibeto-Burman. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 55.2:298-315.
www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_1992_On_the_Dating_and_Nature_of_Verb_Agreement_in_Tibeto_Burman.pdf <http://www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_1992_On_the_Dating_and_Nature_of_Verb_Agreement_in_Tibeto_Burman.pdf>

LaPolla, Randy J. 1994. Parallel grammaticalizations in Tibeto-Burman: Evidence of Sapir’s ‘drift’. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 17.1: 61-80.
www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_1994_Parallel_Grammaticalizations_in_Tibeto-Burman_-_Evidence_of_Sapirs_Drift.pdf <http://www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_1994_Parallel_Grammaticalizations_in_Tibeto-Burman_-_Evidence_of_Sapirs_Drift.pdf>   

LaPolla, Randy J. 2001. The role of migration and language contact in the development of the Sino-Tibetan language family. In R. M. W. Dixon & A. Y. Aikhenvald (eds.), Areal diffusion and genetic inheritance: Case Studies in Language Change, 225-254. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2001_The_Role_of_Migration_and_Language_Contact_in_the_Development_of_the_Sino-Tibetan_Language_Family.pdf <http://www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2001_The_Role_of_Migration_and_Language_Contact_in_the_Development_of_the_Sino-Tibetan_Language_Family.pdf> 

LaPolla, Randy J. 2006. Sino-Tibetan languages. In Keith Brown (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Edition, 393-397. London: Elsevier.
www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2006_The_Sino-Tibetan_Languages.pdf <http://www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2006_The_Sino-Tibetan_Languages.pdf>

LaPolla, Randy J. 2012. Comments on methodology and evidence in Sino-Tibetan comparative linguistics. In Language and Linguistics 13 (1), 117-132, (Special issue on Sino-Tibetan Comparative Studies).
www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2012_Comments_on_methodology_and_evidence_in_Sino-Tibetan_comparative_linguistics.pdf <http://www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2012_Comments_on_methodology_and_evidence_in_Sino-Tibetan_comparative_linguistics.pdf>

LaPolla, Randy J. 2017. Overview of Sino-Tibetan Morphosyntax. In Graham Thurgood and Randy J. LaPolla (eds.), The Sino-Tibetan Languages, Second edition, 40-69. London and New York. Routledge. 
www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2017_ST_Morphosyntax_Overview-draft.pdf <http://www.randylapolla.net/Papers/LaPolla_2017_ST_Morphosyntax_Overview-draft.pdf>

Hope this helps.

All the best,
Randy J. LaPolla, PhD FAHA (羅仁地)
Professor of Linguistics and Chinese, School of Humanities 
Nanyang Technological University
HSS-03-45, 14 Nanyang Drive | Singapore 637332
Most recent book:

> On 20 Jun 2018, at 3:52 AM, Ilja Seržant <ilja.serzants at uni-leipzig.de> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am looking for families (or subfamilies with a larger time depth) for which verbal person-number subject indexes / "agreement" affixes (featuring the intransitive subject for ergative lgs.) are reconstructed. (I already have data on Dravidian, Semitic, Indo-European, Maya, Finno-Ugric and Turkic but I need more for my study on the dynamics of these).
> I would be very grateful for any reference.
> Best,
> Ilja
> -- 
> Ilja A. Seržant, postdoc
> Project "Grammatical Universals"
> Universität Leipzig (IPF 141199)
> Nikolaistraße 6-10
> 04109 Leipzig
> URL: http://home.uni-leipzig.de/serzant/
> Tel.: + 49 341 97 37713
> Room 5.22
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