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Finite Clauses: Tense, Aspect And Mirativity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter on finite clauses of Tshangla discusses affirmative verb paradigm, negative verb paradigm, mirativity, and equative copula gila. It tabulates the entire tense and aspect paradigm for the non-mirative, affirmative final verb. An imperfective clause consists of a verb with a form of the non-final suffix -nyi, followed in the present tense by the existential copula ca and in the past by the grammaticalised verb chole 'to stay'. The perfective vs. imperfective contrast is neutralised in the present tense. The Tshangla final-clause verbal phrase also encodes 'mirativity', an evidential-like distinction which marks an utterance as conveying information which is new or surprising to the speaker, or somehow unassimilated into his knowledge structure. Mirativity may also be marked on the equative copula when the equative occurs as an auxiliary within a verbal tense and aspect construction.

Keywords: affirmative verb paradigm; aspect paradigm; equative copula gila; finite clauses; mirativity; negative verb paradigm; perfective negative; Tshangla; verb tense



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