Diachronic aspects of Bjokapakha epistemic verbal morphology: The role of nominalisers and copulas

Grollmann, Selin (2018). Diachronic aspects of Bjokapakha epistemic verbal morphology: The role of nominalisers and copulas (Submitted). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman area John Benjamins

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Bjokapakha belongs to the Tshangla cluster of the Trans-Himalayan (Tibeto-Burman) language family and is spoken in central Bhutan. Like many languages of the Himalayan region, Bjokapakha exhibits a typically rich system of epistemic functions, centering around the notion of personal knowledge and assimilatedness of knowledge. Morphosyntactically, the epi- stemic categories of Bjokapakha are expressed by constructions involving combinations of nominalisers and copulas which exhibit varying degrees of grammaticalisation. This paper presents the epistemic categories of Bjokapakha and examines the genesis of the Bjokapakha epistemic verbal system from a comparative perspective drawing on insights from other varieties of the Tshangla cluster. Furthermore, a first reconstruction of the epistemic verbal morphology of Tshangla in general is proposed. It will become evident that nominalisers and copulas have played a crucial role in the emergence of epistemic verbal morphology of Bjokapakha and still constitute productive means for the grammaticalisation of new epistemic categories.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Grollmann, Selin


400 Language > 410 Linguistics




John Benjamins




Selin Grollmann

Date Deposited:

05 Nov 2018 09:58

Last Modified:

05 Nov 2018 09:58

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Bjokapakha; Tshangla; Trans-Himalayan/Tibeto-Burman; epistemic categories; grammaticalisation; nominalisation; copulas; internal reconstruction; historical- comparative linguistics; mirative



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