In 1853, Brian Houghton Hodgson published linguistic data for Rma (< Trans-Himalayan) under the label ‘Thochu’. Nonetheless, his work has not been fully considered in the study of Rma historical linguistics. Recent advances in the study of Rma phonology allow for us to more confidently identify the position of the variety described by Hodgson as well as isoglosses between Thochu and other Rma varieties. This present article gives an analysis of the Rma forms given by Hodgson and discusses their implications for the historical phonology of Rma.
This study examines the use of various types of disposal constructions in the Chenghai dialect of Chaoshan Southern Min. Based on the distinction between head-marking and dependent-marking grammar, we identify four types of disposal constructions, depending on the position of the marker. We performed the fruit cart task to elicit disposal constructions from 30 native speakers of this dialect. Our results indicate that zero-marking is the most dominant construction type, where topicalization represents the most common subtype; this observation is in line with Southern Min’s strong tendency towards topicalized structures. Nonetheless, despite its dominance at present, the frequency of this construction type increases with age, which suggests that it may be losing ground. Notably, according to our preliminary observation, another topicalized structure in Chenghai Southern Min also seems falling into disfavour, suggesting that the declining use of topicalization in this Chaoshan dialect may be systemic.
Because most Sino-Tibetan languages with a literary tradition use Indic derived scripts and those that do not are each sui generis, there are advantages to transcribing these languages also along Indic lines. In particular, this article proposes an Indological transcription for Middle Chinese.
Gyalrongic languages exhibit a series of non-trivial nasal-plosive (or approximant) correspondences, which so far lack an explanation. Some nasal consonants, mainly found in West Gyalrongic languages, correspond to plosives or approximants in their East Gyalrongic cognates. Long considered irregular, these correspondences have never been studied with the comparative method. This paper tackles these seeming correspondences and makes the first attempt to reconstruct them. I propose a series of voiceless nasals to account for their modern reflexes with various articulation manners, and analyse the plausibility of this reconstruction. I discuss the forms in question vis-à-vis their cognates in other Sino-Tibetan languages that exhibit a nasal. I also compare alternative solutions with the voiceless nasal hypothesis.
In the political sense, South Asia encompasses the seven independent states of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but linguistically and culturally also includes some adjacent areas to the east and north, notably Tibet. Southwest Asia is understood here as comprising the Iranian language-speaking territory to the west of South Asia, i.e., the states of Afghanistan and Iran and the geocultural transnational region Kurdistan, consisting of parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
The languages – both ancient and modern – of South and Southwest Asia have played a central role in linguistics from the field’s very beginnings as a modern scientific endeavor, and continue to occupy a central position in discussions in many linguistic sub-disciplines, including the following, among others:
• historical linguistics
• typology and language universals
• areal studies
• heritage languages
• writing systems
The series seeks high-quality, state-of-the-art contributions on all aspects of the languages of this linguistically diverse and fascinating area.
The article discusses Bhāviveka’s Prajñāpradīpavṛtti and Avalokitavrata’s Prajñāpradīpaṭīkā commentaries on the “not without a cause” (nāpy ahetutaḥ) alternative of Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 1.1ab, from which it emerges that at least two distinct theories of causality can be attributed to the Lokāyata school. The first one is a physicalist theory that confines all causal relations within the sphere of material elements and is assimilated to accidentalism. The second one is a naturalist theory that attributes causal power to inner nature (svabhāva). The paper discusses the theoretical differences between these two approaches, considers Bhāviveka’s and Avalokitavrata’s counter-arguments and concludes that some of the conjectures that modern scholars have put forward on the relation between svabhāvavāda, accidentalism and Lokāyata should be revised.