It is an accepted fact that a language is not a monolithic substantive but a heterogeneous entity characterised by variations at different levels of structure and organisation as well as in its usage. In the realm of linguistics, variation is considered not as ungrammaticality, rather a distinguishing factor in dialectal studies.
With the advent of sociolinguistics, the variation studies, however, were mostly confined to sociolinguistic approaches. On the other hand, with the advancement in the field of theoretical linguistics, the study of morphological and syntactic variation has emerged as an important area of research to address issues of variability and our growing understanding of Universal Grammar and its interface properties.
At the same time, the study of endangered languages has potential to contribute significantly to our understanding and approaches to language. The Tibeto-Burman verb agreement follows a different principle than in the Indo-Aryan and other language families. Apart from Controller-Target feature sharing, TB languages also exhibit a variety of ways in which agreement features are combined and shared, and the languages vary in this regard in principled ways.
One of the typologically known characteristics is “pronominalisation” i.e. participant indexing in many Kiranti languages; person hierarchy for agreement in Bhujel, etc. These languages, which are spoken in Sikkim, NE region of India, Nepal and surrounding areas, are also indigenous endangered languages with a low level of documentation as well as grammatical research on them. At the same time, it is also observed that there is grammatical convergence between the TB and the IA languages of these regions.
A two-page write-up on various aspects of agree(ment) phenomena in the Tibeto-Burman and other languages is invited in the areas of:
- Submission deadline: 16 October 2019
- Notification of acceptance: 21 October 2019
- Workshop date: 10-12 November 2019
- Venue: Sikkim University, Gangtok