What is Kiranti? A Critical Account

Gerber, Pascal; Grollmann, Selin (2018). What is Kiranti? A Critical Account. Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics, 11(1-2), pp. 99-152. Li Fang-Kuei Society for Chinese Linguistics 10.1163/2405478X-01101010

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This paper challenges the conventional views on the phylogeny of the bundle
of languages of Eastern Nepal subsumed under the name ‘Kiranti’. Contrary to the
widespread belief that the group constitutes a stable, monophyletic subgroup of the
Trans-Himalayan language family, the empirical evidence for the coherence of a Kir-
anti branch is remarkably limited. Additionally, the internal structure of the alleged
Kiranti branch is to a large degree unclarified, despite a number of contributions to
this topic. This paper aims to critically review the different subgrouping proposals
and the potential shared innovations defining a coherent Kiranti subgroup within
Trans-Himalayan. Furthermore, it will be shown that certain languages outside the
Kiranti speaking area may be more closely related to certain Kiranti languages than
those are to other Kiranti languages. The Kiranti branch constitutes a largely unsub-
stantiated subgroup and its phylogenetic coherence should not be taken for granted
in work on Trans-Himalayan historical linguistics.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Gerber, Pascal and Grollmann, Selin

Subjects:

400 Language > 410 Linguistics

ISSN:

1933-6985

Publisher:

Li Fang-Kuei Society for Chinese Linguistics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Selin Grollmann

Date Deposited:

05 Nov 2018 09:19

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2020 08:34

Publisher DOI:

10.1163/2405478X-01101010

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Kiranti, historical-comparative linguistics, shared innovations, phylo- geny, internal classification, Trans-Himalayan

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.120848

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/120848

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