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LINGUIST List 25.2031

Wed May 07 2014

Diss: Naga, Historical Ling, Phonology: Bruhn: 'A Phonological Reconstruction ...'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

Date: 07-May-2014
From: Daniel Bruhn <dwbruhngmail.com>
Subject: A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Central Naga
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Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2014

Author: Daniel Wayne Bruhn

Dissertation Title: A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Central Naga

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Phonology

Subject Language(s): Naga, Ao (njo)
                            Naga, Lotha (njh)
                            Naga, Sangtam (nsa)
                            Naga, Yimchungru (yim)

Dissertation Director:
James A. Matisoff
Johanna Nichols
Andrew Garrett

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation presents a preliminary reconstruction of the phonology
and lexicon (268 items) of Proto-Central Naga (PCN), the putative ancestor
of a group of Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily in Nagaland, a state
in northeast India: Ao, Lotha, Sangtam, and Yimchungrü. Also reconstructed
in the process is the phonology and lexicon (386 items) of Proto-Ao (PAo),
the intermediate ancestor of the Ao lects. Teleo-reconstructions of
Proto-Tibeto-Burman (PTB) are drawn upon to examine the sound changes that
took place in the development from PTB to the Central Naga languages.

Chapter I (Introduction) provides background information on the Central
Naga languages and discusses the history of scholarship on this group. The
conventions and linguistic sources used throughout this work are also
presented.

Chapter II (Proto-Ao) reconstructs the phonology and lexicon of Proto-Ao,
the intermediate ancestor of the Ao branch of Central Naga. It presents the
phonology of standard Chungli Ao, Mangmetong Mongsen Ao, and Proto-Ao,
followed by reconstructions of PAo onsets and rimes based on 386 cognate
sets. The reconstructibility of the PAo tone system is also explored, and
the chapter is concluded with a discussion of the PTB>PAo and PAo>Ao sound
changes proposed.

Chapter III (Proto-Central Naga) reconstructs the phonology and lexicon of
Proto-Central Naga. It presents the phonology of Lotha, Sangtam,
Yimchungrü, and Proto-Central Naga, followed by reconstructions of PCN
rimes and onsets based on 268 cognate sets, with an intervening discussion
of the prefixes. The chapter is concluded with a discussion of the PTB>PCN
and PCN>CN sound changes proposed.

Chapter IV (Conclusion) examines the place of the Central Naga group within
the Tibeto-Burman family based on a study of shared phonological
innovations. The dissertation is then concluded with a discussion of future
directions in diachronic research on the CN languages.

Seven appendices are provided (A–G): three indices of the sound changes
proposed for PTB>PCN (Appendix A), PCN>CN languages (Appendix B), and
PAo>Ao lects (Appendix C); two sets of charts summarizing the PTB>PCN>CN
(Appendix D) and PTB>PAo>Ao (Appendix E) sound changes; and two indices of
PAo (Appendix F) and PCN (Appendix G) reconstructions, alphabetized by
proto-gloss.



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