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A Grammar of Nuosu by Matthias Gerner

By Matthias Gerner

This can be the 1st sleek grammar of Nuosu written in English. Nuosu belongs to a bit identified element of Tibeto-Burman. The 2.5 Million ethnic Nuosu are a part of the Yi nationality and reside in Sichuan (China). This grammar informs Tibeto-Burman linguists, typologists, students of language touch and overseas newcomers of Nuosu.

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Early professional travelers include the British diplomat Baber (1882) and the French physician Legendre (1913) who published travel accounts. g. Swaine 1995, on Father Paul Vial). There is great unanimity among ethnographic writers that the origins of the Yi trace back more than 2000 years to an ancient group called Ni people (Bradley 2001; Harrell 2001). ). Early Chinese records referred to Southwestern peoples as Wūmán 乌蛮 (Black Barbarians) and Báimán 白蛮 (White Barbarians). These names may point to the basic color labels that apply to virtually every minority in Southwest China, not only the Yi but also other groups such as the Miao, Tai, Lahu, Lisu.

Sūn 孙 (1998) does not propose any internal structure. Benedict (1972) and van Driem (2001) envisage a bipartite structure for Loloish, Northern and Southern, whereas Bradley (1997) and Matisoff (2003) identify a tripartite subdivision, Northern, Central and Southern. The Yi languages are present in each of these subdivisions. The exact position of individual Loloish languages is not agreed upon, but Nuosu is classified within the Northern Loloish languages. 1. One of several open questions is whether all groups whose autonym sounds like Nosu, Nasu, Nesu, Nisu, Nyisu or Ngopho should be included in the Northern Loloish branch.

Gga ‘road’ gguo ‘rake’ ggo ‘used up’ gge ‘hear’ ggu ‘nine’ ggur ‘frightened’ gip ‘care for’ gie ‘guess’ ga ‘drop, shake’ guo ‘fierce’ go (pronoun) ge ‘foolish’ gu ‘call’ gur ‘frighten’ ki ‘have contact’ kie ‘chop’ ka ‘want’ kuo ‘brave’ ko ‘spread’ ke ‘dog’ ku ‘steal’ kur ‘year, age’ Sounds and tones 23 B. Fricatives There are eleven fricative phonemes. They are contrastive for most vowels, as illustrated for different neighbouring consonants. f [f] v [v] jix fi ‘separate’ fat ‘set free’ pu fox ‘mislead’ fut ‘six’ fur ‘pour’ fy ‘ugly’ vit ‘time’ va ‘chicken’ vo ‘snow’ vu ‘go crazy’ vur ‘enter’ vy ‘buy’ ss [] s [] ssi ‘use’ ssa kuo ‘hero’ si ‘choose’ sat ‘mark, sign’ suo ‘three’ sot ‘breath’ w [] wat ‘saddle’ wo ‘bear’ r [ ] sh [] ssy ‘lifetime’ ssyr ‘press down’ su (nominalizer) sur ‘repay’ sy ‘blood’ syr ‘sweep’ ra ‘make noise’ ruop ‘pull trigger’ ro ‘frugal’ rep ‘gather’ rup ‘unlucky’ rur ‘weed’ ry ‘early’ ryr ggur ggur ‘firm’ sha ‘splash’ shuo ‘scrape’ sho ‘harvest’ she ‘meat’ shut ‘remember’ shur ‘lake’ shy ‘gold’ shyr ‘yell’ y [] x [] w [] h [] yit ‘needle’ yie (classifier) xi ‘arrive’ xie ‘pick, pluck’ yuo (classifier) yo ‘sheep’ xuo ‘slip, slide’ xop ‘leak out’ yy ‘water’ xy ‘foot’ x [] h [] hx [h] xit ‘bite’ xie ‘catch fish’ hit ‘harm’ hxit ‘eight’ hxie mat ‘heart’ hxa ‘hundred’ hxuo ‘mix, add’ hxo ‘grow, raise’ hxe ‘fish’ sso ‘study’ sse ‘son’ ssut ‘mix’ xuo ‘slip, slide’ xop ‘leak out’ ha ‘advise’ huop lyt ‘apricot’ hot ‘bow’ he vat ‘very good’ hit ‘harm’ wa ‘behind’ wuo ‘pull up’ wo ‘group’ we ‘strength’ hat ‘cover’ huo ‘pour’ ho ‘pen, fold’ he ‘good’ 24 Phonology C.

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