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Tangut as a West Gyalrongic language

Yunfan Lai, Xun Gong, Jesse P. Gates and Guillaume Jacques
From the journal Folia Linguistica

Abstract

This paper proposes that Tangut should be classified as a West Gyalrongic language in the Sino-Tibetan/Trans-Himalayan family. We examine lexical commonalities, case marking, partial reduplication, and verbal morphology in Tangut and in modern West Gyalrongic languages, and point out nontrivial shared innovations between Tangut and modern West Gyalrongic languages. The analysis suggests a closer genetic relationship between Tangut and Modern West Gyalrongic than between Tangut and Modern East Gyalrongic. This paper is the first study that tackles the exact linguistic affiliation of the Tangut language based on the comparative method.


Corresponding author: Yunfan Lai, Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany, E-mail:

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 715618, Computer-Assisted Language Comparison, https://digling.org/calc/). We would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their very constructive comments.

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Received: 2019-04-10
Accepted: 2020-03-24
Published Online: 2020-12-07
Published in Print: 2020-12-16

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