A Grammar of Hakhun Tangsa
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Hakhun Tangsa is one of around eighty ethnic and linguistic communities called Tangsa or Tangshang. Hakhuns live mostly in Arunachal Pradesh, India, and in Sagaing Division, Myanmar. The number of speakers is estimated at around ten thousand. Hakhun is a Tibeto-Burman language, and it forms a subgroup with Nocte, Wancho, Phom, Konyak, Chang, and Khiamngan called Konyak or Northern Naga. Hakhun is a tonal language with twenty-two consonants, six vowels, and a simple syllable structure. Open word classes include Nouns and Verbs; property concept terms form a subclass of verbs. Noun roots are mostly monosyllabic, and most multisyllabic nouns are compounds. Nominal morphology includes prossessive prefixes and a set of semantically specific suffixes. Case is coded by postpositions. Verb roots are also mostly monosyllabic. A few verbs have suppletive stems. Verb serialization is common, and expresses complex events like resultative and sequential. A few grammaticalized verbs/elements contribute abstract meanings like phase, associated motion, causative, benefactive, etc. Typical verbal categories are expressed by independent particles. The most extensive and grammatically obligatory set consists of single syllable particles called operators, which express verbal categories like tense, mood, deixis, negation, inverse, and argument indexation. The typical argument indexation pattern is hierarchical. Deviations from this pattern is used to express certain pragmatic effects like affectedness and politeness. Non-verbal clauses may take overt copulas depending on tense and polarity. Most semantic distinctions, such as equation, property-concepts, quantification, simulation, and location are expressed by the nominal strategy. Existential and possession are expressed by a distinct strategy. Typical verbal clauses include intransitive, transitive, and ditransitive; less typical ones include weather condition, sensation-emotion, reflexive, reciprocal, and ‘need’ constructions. Person-based split-ergativity is seen in case marking, where first and second person singular arguments follow accusative, and the rest ergative alignment. Accusative alignment is also found in argument indexation in non-final clauses. The object alignment is indirective in case marking. Complement clauses include sentence-like, non-finite, and infinitive complement clauses. Adverbial clauses include various kinds of temporal clauses, temporal/conditional clauses, counterfactual, concessive, purpose, and substitutive clauses. Clause chaining (medial-final) is prevalent. Independent sentences are linked through tail-head linking and through connectives.