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Verbal Morphology

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Chapter Summary

Lepcha has no elaborate conjugational morphology. There is no verbal agreement morphology and actants are not morphologically indexed in the verb. Tense, mood, aspect and other meanings of the verb are expressed by the use of postpositions and auxiliary verbs. Whilst the verbal system of Lepcha may lack the formal complexity of some Himalayan languages, the interest of Lepcha verbal morphology lies in the semantics of the grammatical categories expressed by the Lepcha repertoire of endings and auxiliaries. The unmarked or zero form of the verb in Lepcha indicates a preterite tense, which denotes actions anterior to the speech moment without any inherent implication with regard to result or duration. The zero form of the verb may express just the transpiration of an event in past time, merely indicating that the situation took place at some point in the past.

Keywords: Himalayan languages; Lepcha verbal morphology



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