Download -Thesis – Grammatical Catagories in Madhab Kandali’s Ramayana / Dr. Gitanjali Bez 2012

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Abstract of Thesis

The primary concern of this study is to study some grammatical aspects of the Ramayana written by Madhav Kandali (MKR) and to develop a methodological framework in the process for doing corpus analysis in Assamese. This framework involves the process of creating a computer corpus and of conducting a linguistic analysis on the given corpus. To accomplish this task, the data of Madhav Kandali’s Ramayana was taken as an experimental base where the different methodological approaches introduced by corpus linguists have been applied. The reason for implementing these approaches in Assamese is the growing interest in corpus linguistics as one of the approaches to linguistic studies on one hand and its ability to elicit actual behaviour of a particular language on the other. Furthermore, the multi-dimensional functions of corpus linguistics such as the ability to make a dictionary, annotating texts, developing a tagset, writing a descriptive grammar, studying the historical development of the language concerned etc., are other motivating factors for deciding to apply a corpus based methodology to the Assamese language. The more important benefit of corpus linguistics is that once a corpus is created, it can be used for multi-disciplinary studies. Thus, computational linguists can use language corpora for the purpose of natural language processing, i.e., for purpose of modeling human behavior and cognition, anthropologists can use it for studying the culture and society of any community, sociolinguists can use corpora for studying social behaviour expressed through language, theoretical linguists can use corpora for developing linguistic theory, descriptive linguists can use corpora for doing synchronic analysis of any particular grammatical construction or to write a descriptive grammar of some language. This is the one of other reason for deciding to apply a corpus based methodology on Assamese. However, among these multi-disciplinary activities, the present project is concerned only with the synchronic analysis of the grammatical categories associated with major word-classes in MKR. For this purpose, dedicated language analysis software such as Toolbox and CQPweb have been used.

Grammatical category refers to a set of linguistic categories which are associated with specific word classes and which carry different kinds of grammatical information relating to specific word classes. Grammatical information can be expressed in two ways: by affixation and by using a set of closed class words. For example, the grammatical category of aspect is represented on verbs in Assamese in both ways: by adding imperfective suffix -is to the verbal base such as huise ‘has slept/is sleeping’, khaise ‘has eaten/is eating’, and by using a grammatical aspectual auxiliary verb as ‘be’ as in khaiase ‘is eating’, huiase ‘is sleeping’. Grammatical categories can be identified in terms of three properties: (a) Inherent properties that a word intrinsically has or does not have such as number and gender of a noun (b) Agreement properties which show syntactic links between words such as a verb agreeing with its subject and object, and (c) Relational properties which mark the relationship between a word or phrase to the whole sentence such as a case marker, which is used to mark the grammatical relationships in a clause. An attempt has been made in the present study to identify the grammatical categories in MKR on the basis of these three properties. However, the chosen area of research has not covered all the categories attached to every word class. Rather, it has been further delimited to the investigation of the grammatical categories of the two major word classes of the Noun and the Verb. There are three reasons for such a delimitation. The first reason is related to the special status of nouns and verbs in the kernel clause. All kernel clauses contain at least one verb and one noun. Secondly, Nouns and verbs are considered as more basic word classes than others due to their ability to be defined independently of the rest, while the word classes of adjective and adverb can only be defined with the reference to nouns and verbs. Finally, nouns and verbs in MKR are rich in the instances of grammatical categories that are attached to nouns and verbs compared to other word classes. Two kinds of categories are found for nouns in MKR: Inherent and Relational categories. Inherent categories for nouns cover the categories of number and classifiers, while Relational categories cover the category of case. In addition,, a third category, that of personal deixis, occurs with a subset of nouns called relational nouns. Two kinds of categories are found in verbs in MKR: Inherent category and Agreement category. Inherent categories for verbs cover tense, aspect, and mood. The Agreement categories include agreement relations between verbs and their arguments.

Between the two word classes of the noun and the verb, it is the latter that functions as the ultimate head of the clause, with the most central kind of sentence having the form of a clause. Due to its highest importance in the organization of the grammar, the discussion of the grammatical categories correlatable to the verb has been given precedence over the discussion of those correlatable with the noun. This relative priority is reflected in the organizational plan for the various chapters of the present work.

The Introduction (Chapter One) discusses the main objective of this study along with a brief survey of Madhav Kandali and his times. This survey also presents a brief survey of the authors who contributed to Assamese literature during the period when MKR was written. A critique of previous research along with methodological approaches adopted for the analysis is also presented in this chapter. The introduction concludes with a discussion of the theoretical framework adopted for the present research, along with an overview of the contents of the various chapters.

Chapter Two (Word-classes in MKR) provides a brief discussion of word classes found across languages along with their defining criteria, and then moves on to apply these criteria to the MKR data for identifying the major word classes found therein. Subsequently, this chapter presents a general overview of grammatical categories in general before dealing with the grammatical categories found specifically in MKR. A brief note on the regularity underlying the forms is also presented here. This chapter ends with the discussion of certain issues encountered during the time of analysis.

Chapter Three (Verbal category I: Agreement) is devoted to the treatment of the grammatical category of person – its relation to verbs on one hand and to personal pronouns on the other. The verbs in MKR are found to agree with subjects according to person, and this is what this chapter attempts to show. A brief comparison between MKR and modem Assamese with regard to the category of person is also presented in this chapter so as to highlight the similarity and differences between these two stages.

Chapter Four (Verbal category II: Inherent) takes up the discussion of inherent categories for verbs. This chapter begins by considering the category of tense, and then deals with aspect and mood. A brief note on how each of these categories exist in modem Assamese is also presented alongside, in order to show the distance between these two stages as mentioned in the previous paragraph. This chapter concludes with a discussion of the causatives and negatives in MKR.

Chapter Five (Non-finite verbs) embodies a comprehensive discussion of non-finite verbs. This chapter starts with an overview, followed by a brief description of the nonfinite markers found in MKR. The functions of each marker are also discussed in some detail.

Chapter Six (Nominal category I: Inherent) presents a discussion of the various inherent categories for nouns. It offers a detailed discussion of the category of classifiers in the first place. This is followed by a description of the category of number, the complex situation relating to gender, and a discussion of personal deixis. Subsequently, this chapter surveys the functions of noun words at the phrase level. It also includes a discussion of various dependents of nouns. This chapter concludes with a brief comparison between MKR and modem Assamese regarding the structure of the NP.

Chapter Seven (Nominal category II: Relational) is devoted to the discussion of the relational category for nouns. This chapter begins with a general an overview of case marking system across languages, and then turns to the discussion of case markers used in MKR. This chapter concludes with a brief comparison between MKR and modem Assamese in terms of the use of case markers. Chapter Eight (Conclusion) takes a look back at the overall work presented in the body of the thesis and points out some possible directions in which the line of study undertaken can be extended by future researchers.

Table of Contents

Abstract i

Acknowledgements v

List of Figures vii

List of Tables viii

Abbreviations ix

Notations and conventions xi

 

1. Introduction 1

1.1. Preview 1

1.2. Madhav Kandali and his times 3

1.2.1. Kandali’s contribution to Assamese Literature 11

1.3. Topic of research 12

1.3.1. The study of manuscripts of MKR 14

1.3.2. The phonology of MKR 16

1.4. The language of Ramayana 16

1.5. Earlier studies on the language of MKR 20

1.6. Methodology of research 25

1.6.1. Overview 26

1.6.2. Corpus-based research methodology 26

1.6.2.1. The process of planning and creating a corpus 28

1.6.2.1.1. Planning a corpus 28

1.6.2.1.2. Collecting data 30

1.6.2.1.3. Computerizing data 31

1.6.2.2. Annotation 31

1.6.23. Analyzing a corpus 31

1.6.3. Creating the MKR corpus 32

1.63.1. Toolbox 34

1.6.3.1.1. Organizing data 35

1.6.3.1.2. Analyzing data 39

1.63.2. CQPweb 44

1.633. The format for inserting MKR data into Toolbox and

CQPweb 51

1.63.4. Toolbox, CQPweb and interoperability 52

1.7. Theoretical framework 53

1.8. Issues encountered while analyzing the data 54

1.9. Structure of the present work 58

 

2. Word-classes in MKR 60

2.1. Preview 60

2.2. Different ways of identifying word-classes: a general view 61

2.3. Categorization of word-classes 62

2.3.1. Morphology 63

2.3.2. Distribution 63

2.3.3. Functional criteria 66

2.3.4. Applying the three criteria to languages 69

2.3.5. Sub-classification of words in MKR 70

2.4. Major word-class categories: a general view 73

2.5. Grammatical categories of major word-classes: in MKR 78

2.5.1. Grammatical categories for nouns 78

2.5.1.1. Inherent categories for nouns 78

2.5.1.2. Relational categories for nouns 79

2.5.2. Grammatical categories for verbs 80

2.5.2.1. Inherent categories 80

2.5.2.2. Agreement categories 81

2.5.3. Grammatical categories for adjectives 82

2.6. The categories chosen for analysis 84

2.7. Rationale for the organization of chapters 85

 

3. Verbal category I: Agreement 87

3.1. Preview 87

3.2. Person 91

3.3. Personal suffixes: multiple forms and alignments 92

3.4. Personal suffixes: orthographic variation and function 94

3.4.1. Variants of the first person 94

3.4.2. Variants of the second person 94

3.4.2.1. Second person inferior forms 95

3.4.2.2. Second person familiar forms 95

3.4.3. Variants of the third person 97

3.5. Personal suffixes: some issues 100

3.5.1. The complexity of form-function alignment 101

3.5.1.1. Tense 102

3.5.1.2. Mood 102

3.5.1.3. Number and gender 103

3.5.1.4. Other factors 105

3.5.2. The role of historical change 107

3.5.3. Syncretism and homophony in the personal suffixes

of MKR 111

3.5.4. The personal suffixes in modem Assamese 114

3.5.5. Personal suffixes: a summary 115

3.6. Personal pronouns 116

3.6.1. First person pronouns 119

3.6.2. Second person pronouns ‘ 125

3.6.3. Third person pronouns 131

3.6.4. Oblique pronouns 134

3.6.5. Personal pronouns in modem Assamese 136

3.6.6. Summary 139

 

4. Verbal category II: Inherent 141

4.1. Preview 141

4.2. Tense 144

4.2.1. Overview 144

4.2.2. Absolute tense 144

4.2.3. Relative tense 146

4.2.4. The role of time adverbials 149

4.2.5. Tense in modem Assamese 150

4.2.6. Summary 152

4.3. Aspect 152

4.3.1. Overview 152

4.3.2. Morphological aspect 153

4.3.3. Aspectual auxiliary 156

4.3.4. Aspect in modem Assamese 160

4.4. Mood 161

4.4.1. Overview 161

4.4.2. Mood in MKR 161

4.4.3. Mood in modem Assamese 163

4.4.4. Summary 166

4.5. Causatives 167

4.5.1. Causativization 167

4.5.2. Causatives in MKR 168

4.5.2.1. Lexical causatives 168

4.5.2.2. Morphological causatives 169

4.5.3. Causatives in modem Assamese 172

4.6. Negatives 172

4.6.1. Negatives in MKR 173

4.6.2. Negatives in modem Assamese 175

4.6.3. Summary 177

4.7. Chapter Overview 177

 

5. Non-finite verbs 178

5.1. Preview 178

5.2. Multi-verb constructions across languages 180

5.2.1. Multi-verb construction 181

5.2.2. Multi-verb constructions in MKR 183

5.3. Non-finite markers and their occurrence in MKR 184

5.3.1. Occurrence in complement clauses and adverbial clauses 184

5.3.2. Occurrence in relative clauses 187

5.4. Distribution and function of non-finite markers 190

5.4.1. -ante ending forms 191

5.4.1.1. -ante ending adverbial clauses 191

5.4.1.2. As a prior situation marker 193

5.4.1.3. In verbal groups 193

5.4.1.3.1. -ante ending form with grammatical aspectual auxiliary 194

5.4.1.3.2. -anteending form with lexical aspectual auxiliary 195

5.4.2. -amending forms 195

5.4.2.1. -aya ending adverbial clauses 195

5.4.2.2. In verbal groups 197

5.4.3. -/ending forms 198

5.4.3.1. In adverbial clauses 198

5.4.3.2. As a prior action marking 198

5.4.33. In verbal groups 200

5.4.4. -ibaka ending forms 200

5.4.4.1. In adverbial clauses 201

5.4.4.2. In complement clauses 202

5.4.43. In verbal groups 202

5.4.4.4. In the complement position ofPPs 204

5.4.5. -iya ending forms 205

5.4.5.1. In adverbial clauses 205

5.4.5.2. In verbal groups 207

5.4.6. -/lending forms 208

5.4.6.1. In adverbial clauses 208

5.4.6.2. In complement clauses 209

5.4.63. In verbal groups 209

5.4.6.4. In the complement position ofPPs 210

5.4.6.5. In adjectival clauses 210

5.4.7. -ibe ending forms 211

5.4.7.1. In adverbial clauses 211

5.4.7.2. In verbal groups 211

5.4.73. In the complement position ofPPs 211

5.4.8. -ita ending forms 212

5.4.9. -ibeka ending forms 213

5.4.9.L In adverbial clauses 213

5.4.9.2. In verbal groups 214

5.4.10. -z/e ending forms 214

5.4.11. -ilantc ending forms 215

5.4.12. -ibara ending forms 215

5.4.12.1. In adverbial clauses 215

5.4.12.2. In non-finite relative clauses 216

5.4.13. -/^ending forms 217

5.6. Summary 218

 

6. Nominal category I: Inherent 221

6.1. Preview 221

6.2. Specificity-classifiers in MKR 225

6.2.1. The structure of classifiers in MKR 226

6.2.2. The function of common classifiers in MKR 227

6.2.2.1. Common classifiers as independent lexical items 228

6.2.2.1.1. Classifiers occurring with numerals 228

6.2.2.1.2. Classifiers occurring with nouns 233

6.2.2.2. Classifiers attached to numerals and nouns as suffixes 234

6.2.3. Functions of numeral and noun classifiers 236

6.2.3.1. Functions of numeral classifiers in MKR 237

6.23.2. Functions of noun classifiers in MKR 240

6.2.4. Functions of plural classifiers 246

6.2.4.1. Noun classifiers indicating plurality 246

6.2.4.2. Pronominal classifiers indicating plurality 249

6.2.5. Gender in MKR 254

6.3. Plural formatives 256

6.4. Personal deixis 260

6.5. Phrase-level noun words: distribution and function 264

6.5.1. Noun word function at the phrase level: a general 265

discussion

6.5.2. Noun word in MKR: phrase-level functions 265

6.5.2.1. Quantifiers 266

6.5.2.2. Relative and interrogative pronominal determiners 274

6.5.2.2.1. Relative pronominal determiners 274

6.5.2.2.2. Interrogative pronominal determiners 280

6.5.23. Possessive determiners, multipliers, and numerals 283

6.5.2.3.1. Possessive pronominal determiners 283

6.5.23.2. Multipliers 287

6.5.2.33. Numerals 287

6.52.4. Demonstrative pronominal determiners 289

6.52.5. Adjectives 293

6.5.2.5.1. Attributive function 293

6.5.2.5.2. Predicative function 295

6.5.2.5.3. As ahead of noun phrase 296

6.6. Comparison with modem Assamese 297

6.6.1. The use of quantifiers 297

6.6.2. Relative pronominal determiners 299

6.6.3. Interrogative pronominal determiners 299

6.6.4. Possessive determiners 299

6.6.5. Adjectives 300

6.6.6. Multipliers and numerals 303

6.7. Clause-level functions of the NP 303

6.7.1. Clause-level functions of the NP in MKR 303

6.7.2. The clause-level functions of the NP in modem Assamese 306

6.8. Summary 306

 

7. Nominal category II: Relational 308

7.1. Preview 308

7.2. Case markers in MKR 312

7.3. Orthographic variation of case markers 313

7.4. Distributions of case markers 314

7.4.1. Distribution of case markers: general observations 314

7-.4.2. Distribution of case markers in MKR 316

7.5. Function of case markers 317

7.5.1. Case marking pattern of nouns 317

7.5.1.1. At the clause level 317

7.5.1.1.1. -emarker 318

7.5.1.1.2. -ka marker 323

7.5.1.1.3. -ta marker 337

7.5.1.1.4. -ra marker 341

7.5.12. The case marking pattern in predicative nominals 343

7.5.1.3. Phrase-level case marking -e 344

7.5.1.3.1. Internal relations within the phrase 344

7.5.1.3.1.1. The function of -ra within the phrase 344

7.5.1.3.1.2. The function of -ka within the phrase 346

7.5.1.3.2. External relations of case markers within the phrase 348

7.5.1.4. The function of case markers within the subordinate

clause 349

7.5.2. Case marking pattern for pronouns 350

7.6. Case markers of MKR and modem Assamese compared 353

7.7. Summary 361

 

8. Conclusion 363

8.1. Introduction 363

8.2. Retrospect 363

8.3. Prospect 365

8.3.1. Conclusions for historical linguists 365

8.3.2. Conclusions for corpus linguists 368

8.3.3. Conclusions for descriptive linguists 371

References 376

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