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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55367
Doc. No:TL25321
Call number:‭3228517‬
Main Entry:Kenneth VanBik
Title & Author:Proto-Kuki -ChinKenneth VanBik
College:University of California, Berkeley
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:610
Abstract:The Kuki-Chin languages constitute one of the most important subgroups of the great Tibeto-Burman family. This dissertation attempts to reconstruct the sound system of the ancestor language, Proto-Kuki-Chin, by comparing the initial consonants, rhymes, and nominal tones of a large number of KC languages. This study of Proto-Kuki-Chin depends primarily on twelve languages: three from the Central Chin group: Mizo (aka Lushai), Hakha Lai, and Falam Lai; four from the Southern-Plains Chin group: Mindat Cho, Daai, Asho (aka Plains Chin), and Khumi; four from the Northern Chin group: Tedim (aka Tiddim), Paite, Thado-Kuki, and Sizang; and finally one from the Maraic group, namely Mara (aka Lakher). Chapter 1 introduces the Kuki-Chin speakers and their geographical locations, and traces the etymologies of the names Kuki and Chin. Chapter 2 investigates the historical depth of the separation of the Kuki-Chin family from the rest of Tibeto-Burman, and confirms the unity of the Kuki-Chin peoples through the study of shared sound changes and syntactic patterns. It also deals with the internal subgrouping of Kuki-Chin, based on these patterns of sound change, with shared innovations suggesting common history. For instance, the modern Northern and Southern-Plains Chin groups share a sound change of fortition in which the sound reconstructed as *r for the hypothetical Proto-Kuki-Chin language became a voiced stop /g/ in Northern and Southern-Plains Chin whereas it remained /r/ elsewhere. This indicates that, despite their present geographical separation, these languages share a closer history with each other than they do with the Central Chin group which now divides them geographically. From this we can infer something about earlier movements of populations in the Chin area. Thus this chapter presents a subgrouping schema for Proto-Kuki-Chin: a Peripheral group which includes Southern-Plains-Chin and Northern (Zo) Chin; a Central Chin group; and a highly divergent Maraic group. Chapter 3 presents the PKC syllable canon, and Chapter 4 establishes the PKC initial consonants by comparing copious lexical data from the three subgroups, and gives examples of reconstructed etyma. A total of 1355 PKC etyma have been reconstructed. Chapter 5 seeks to reconstruct PKC etyma in terms of their rhymes. The term "rhyme" in Sino-Tibetan linguistics refers to the phonological material of the whole syllable except for the initial consonants, i.e. the vowel of the syllable plus the final consonant if any. Chapter 6 investigates the nature of the nominal tone system that the proto-language may have had. Four contrastive proto-tones have been reconstructed for smooth syllables; three proto-tones are reconstructed for etyma with stopped rhymes and long vowels, and a single proto-tone for stopped rhymes with short vowels. The concluding chapter (Chapter 7) summarizes and tabulates the types of sound changes which have been discovered in the course of this investigation.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Bangladesh; Burma; India; Kuki-Chin; Myanmar; Nominal tone system; Proto-Kuki-Chin; Syllable canon; Linguistics; 0290:Linguistics
Added Entry:J. A. Matisoff
Added Entry:University of California, Berkeley