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How typology allows for a new analysis of the verb phrase in Burmese

Abstract : Burmese has been studied by westerner scholars since 18e century. Recent works containing good description of the language (or part of the language) are Allott (1965), Okell (1969), Bernot (1980), Wheatley (1982), Bernot et al (2001), Allott &. Okell (2001). However comparison of the description made by these authors leads to different analysis of the verbal phrase. For instance the list of optional verbal morphemes (particles and auxiliaries) varies depending of the criteria used by the author for his analysis. Moreover, as in many Asian languages, groups of verbs not separated by connectors exist in Burmese. These verbal phrases composed by several verb roots have identical form in surface. However, they cannot be analyzed in the same way. They can correspond to lexical expressions, or compounds and be listed in dictionaries. The verbal phrase may be analyzed as a prototypical serial verbs construction (SVC), here is to say, part of one clause only which refers to a unique event. Third possibility : some of the verb roots can be grammaticalized and be considered as auxiliaries. Given the identical surface forms and the different under-laying structures, we look for a model allowing us to treat together phenomenon traditionally analyzed separately. Therefore, the notion of serial verbs construction (CVS) recently developed by Déchaine (1993), Durie (1997) or, Aikhenvald & Dixon (in press) among others help us to build the adequate frame for a more global approach of the VP in Burmese.
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Contributor : Alice Vittrant <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 4:14:00 PM
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Alice Vittrant. How typology allows for a new analysis of the verb phrase in Burmese. LIDIL - Revue de linguistique et de didactique des langues, UGA Editions, 2012, 46, pp.101-126. ⟨hal-00779831⟩

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