Thulung Rai, an endangered Tibeto-Burman language of Eastern Nepal, has complex verbal morphology, with verb endings encoding agent and patient person and number in transitive scenarios. In addition to this, a large number of verbs alternate between several stems, and the stem selection criteria are initially elusive. Inspired by work by Boyd Michailovsky, who proposes morphophonological accounts for the verb stem alternation in related Dumi Rai, I propose an analysis of the Thulung verbal system and its verb stem alternation.
The Kiranti languages of Eastern Nepal have polypersonal indexation, with two arguments encoded in verb agreement markers. In contemporary descriptions of Kiranti languages (from 1975 on), the tables presenting transitive verb paradigms are arranged according to the same layout, in a matrix format with the different person/number combinations for the agent argument represented in the vertical axis and the patient argument person/number combinations in the horizontal axis. In earlier grammars, however, a number of different formats for representing the combination of two arguments was used. In this article, I shall present the different paradigm formats found in a sampling of grammars of Kiranti languages from 1857 to the present day, with a view to tracing the origins of the current layout, and, in cases where significantly different layouts are encountered, attempting to retrace the model which may have influenced the presentation of the data
This article describes the relativization strategies found in Thulung Rai (Eastern Nepal, Tibeto-Burman, Kiranti subgroup). The strategies make use of three morphemes: a finite nominalizer -m (along with allomorph -mim), and two participial markers, -pa and -ma, and have different distributions in terms of the arguments they can relativize upon. Of particular interest is the question of the distribution of strategies available for relativization on subjects, and how these correlate with case marking and the person-based split ergative system found in Thulung.