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LINGUIST List 23.2171

Fri May 04 2012

Books: Darai Grammar: Dhakal

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

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Date: 02-May-2012
From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de>
Subject: Darai Grammar: Dhakal
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Title: Darai Grammar
Series Title: Languages of the World/Materials 489
Published: 2012
Publisher: Lincom GmbH

Author: Dubi Nanda Dhakal
Paperback: ISBN: 9783862883103 Pages: 216 Price: Europe EURO 65.80

This grammar is a description of Darai, an Indo-Aryan language, which was
not adequately described before. The genetic classification of this language
has not been determined yet but proposed as an eastern Indo-Aryan
language. It is a language spoken by 10210 people in the Chitwan,
Nawalparasi and Tanahun districts of central and western Nepal. The Darai
people residing in Nayabeltari and Gaindakot Village Development
Committees (VDCs) in Nawalparasi and Gajarkot in Tanahu no longer speak
their ancestral language. The data for this grammar came largely from the
natural texts. The text corpus was mainly obtained from the language
consultants who were the inhabitants of Kathar, Chainpur, Mangalpur VDCs
and Bharatpur municipality of the Chitwan district.

Synchronic description of phonology is given in chapter two. Darai has 29
consonants and 6 vowels. This chapter examines the vowels and
consonants, their distribution, consonant clusters, syllable structure and
morphophonology. Chapter three discusses the morphology. Nouns inflect for
number, pronominal possessive marking, indefinite marking and cases. The
pronominal possessive suffixes are used to mark the kinship relations as well
as ownership. The indefinite marker attached to noun is also an interesting
feature. Darai is characterized as a split ergative language which is based on
nominal hierarchy. The semantic categories and functions of adjectives are
also analyzed in this chapter. In addition to tense, aspect and mood, Darai
verbs are characterized by modality marking such as obligation, possibility,
inference, mirativity, hearsay, frustative and dubitative. A Darai bitransitive
verb may cross-reference both the actor and patient. Verb agreement is also
triggered by number, gender, case, honorificity as well as pragmatic features.
Verb agreement due to focus hierarchy is a striking feature characterized
Darai. Different kinds of adverbs are also dealt with in this chapter. This
chapter also analyzes the word classes such as clitic, particles,
onomatopoeia and echo words. Some native Darai particles are widely used
in natural discourse despite the influences from neighboring languages in
lexicon. Chapter 4 deals with syntax. This chapter first of all presents the
word order. This chapter also discusses the simple sentence in Darai in
addition to the modifications of simple sentences. This chapter discusses the
clause combining, such as complement clauses, relative clauses and
adverbial clauses. Clause combining is productive because of
morphosyntactic evidences seen in Darai grammar. The grammatical features
exhibit that Darai may be classified as an 'eastern' Indo-Aryan language
closely related to Maithili, Bhojpuri and Majhi.

Linguistic Field(s): Indo-Aryan Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Darai (dry)

Written In: English (eng)

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