Friday, May 9, 2008


Zo Linguistics is concerned with the spoken Zo as well as written words.
Phoneme: The smallest segment of sound which can distinguish between two words is called Phoneme. e.g. in the words: beh,leh,mah,peh,seh,b,p,l,n etc are phonemes.
Minimal pairs: Words differing only by one phoneme is called Minimal Pairs. E.g; pet,let,get,het,sang,sing,sung, song,tang,tung,tong,sie,sye,lie,hie,gie,pie etc..
Allophones(Variant forms) i)unaspirated(basic) ii)aspirated i)&ii) are complementary distribution, k kh /k/ & /kh/ ;/p/&/ph/ etc are allophones p ph of k,p,etc. t th s sh c ch Free variation having slight differences Clear Variant Dark variant In lim ‘l’ in mil ‘l’ and l are allophenes of phoneme /l/ When phal and pil are pronounced,the accompanying puff of breath makes the paper billow out,in short the aspirated variant /ph/ and the unaspirated /p/ are oth allophones of the phoneme /p/. We say that they are complementary distribution, each occurs in a different and predictable set of environments.
Sound combinations: Phonemes when form in correct sequence or combinations gives meaningful words. e.g. bil is a combination b+i+l=bil but when it is arranged as lbi the phonemes becomes meaningless. In Zo, a word which begins with two consonant-type phonemes always obeys; 1. If the first phoneme is /k/ or /p/ or /t/. 2. Then, the second phoneme must be /h/.Therefore, words beginning with two consonants are such as khai,khêng,khi,khol,khum,phal,phel, phiet, phol,phûl,thal, theng,thong,thuh.We never find words such as hkai,ekghn, ihk,lkho,mkuh,lpah, etc,because they do not convey any order or meaning to us. Property of phoneme is called feature. Share Properties of phonemes /p/ /t/ /b/ /d/ /m/ n/ consonant + + + + + + voiced - - + + + + labial(lip) + - + - + - nasal - - - - + + Distinctive feature: Any feature which distinguishes one phoneme from another is known as its distinctive feature. E.g. m and n are consonants.nasal /m/ is labial where as /n/ is not therefore,absence of labial in /n/ is the distinctive feature.
Tones: The pitch of the word changes its meaning of the word-core meaning,a language having such features is known as Tonal language(Moira Yip). Zo language is Tonal language. There can 3(three) set of accent marks in Zo language.
Level tone:- ma ‘front’ unmarked or vowel marked with ^ as in mâ
Rising tone:- ma / ‘forbid’ vowel with / as in má
Falling tone:- ma \ ‘much’ vowel with \ as in mà
The words are distinguished by differences in the rise and fall of tones. Zo phonemes are segments or chunks of sounds such as /b/ or/h/ or/z/.These are known as Segmental phonemes. Like Chinese Mandarin language the Zo language has segmental phonemes as well as Non-segmental phonemes. They are distinguished by the differences in the rise and fall of the tone, as in the minimal pairs. ka or kâ _ (level tone) me,mine,my,chamber,room ká /(rising tone) forked,V-shaped kà \(falling tone) climb,burn,to cry for sth or sb. Likewise, there are numerous examples of non-segmental phonemes in Zokam. Examples are:-bang,bâng,báng,hang, hâng,háng,jâng,jang, lang,lâng, lâm,lam,nam, nâm, pa,pâ,pan,pân,pang,pâng,pàng,páng,sâng, sang,sing,sîng.
Metrical phonology: Stressed and unstressed:
Tree diagram: strong syllable S weak syllable W S W S W W gilou git lou na W S W S W lung siet lung siet na Morphology Morphology studies what words are? their basic building blocks in the formation of complex words,how are more complex words are built up from simpler words. It studies the internal structure of the words and the relationships among words.
Fundamental technical concepts in morphology
Sign and Phonemic shape
Sign is a unit of a language system having form and invariant meaning. A sign has two parts; sequence of phonemes or phonemic shapes called ‘signifier’ and concept/s or object/s which will be registered due to that phonemic shape called ‘signified object’. In Zo /pape/ is the sequence of phonemes or a phonemic shape which for a native speaker registers or conveys a set of objects having unique similarity within them. So the phonemic shape /pape/ is a signifier and the object registerd by it is ‘signified’. A phonemic shape associated with meaning act as a sign in a language which is known as morpheme.
Morph is a sequence of possible phonemes or phonemic shape which in a given language can unify with a meaning and function as a sign. Morph is language specific,what is a morph in a given language may not be a morph in another language. /Pei/ is a morph in Zo language but it is not a morph in Hindi or English. In the above examples,the phonemic shape /pei/ is a morph.It is a sequence of phonemes which function as ‘signifier’. Similarly, /dîng/,/pa/,/nu/,
/tu/,/va/,/zou/,/sa/,/ta/ are morphs.
For example, in the morph /pei/ there are three phonemes /p/,/e/,/i/ rearranging them we may get sequences like /epi/,/ipe/,we find that none of these sequences can function as signifiers in any of the morphological or lexical signs. Therefore,these sequences are not morphs in Zo language. But /pei/ is a morph.
Morpheme: The smallest syntactic unit of a word which can not be split or cut into smaller syntactic segments is called Morpheme. The basic word-form is a morpheme. Examples: gil,sil,zi,zu,pal,pâl,gam,hil,lung,mun,ah,a,sese,ing, are morphemes.
Likewise, bil,chil, chin,ching,din,ding,dim,din,em,en,eng,et,gin,ging,gong,gun,hil,hing, him,in,ing,îm,zing,kin,kon,kil,lim,lom,lam,lang,man,mang,min,met,nen,nop,nung, om,on,ong,op,ot,sa,sah,sam,san,sang,sing,sung,song,shi,tu,tung, tum,tun,tup, tut,tuh,tul,un,ung etc are all morphemes.
Examples: Zogam nuom heisabang hing pâl hên Hâmtheilouna mun ah hâm nuom sese ing e An ka nezouta hi Guozuh chiengleh ukêng kitom nuom hi. Here; zo, gam,hei,sa,bang,hing,pâl,hên,hâm,sese,e,an,hi,ki,tom,nuom,ta etc are morphemes.
Types of Morphemes
Free Morphemes: sese,hâm,zou,hên,ann,ki,nuom,hei,etc.
Bound morphemes:na,dîng, ta,sa,ngam,mawh,tuo,tuoh, khaw,kawm, luo,tu,sah, sawm, la, lou, thei,tâh,etc. are bound morphemes. Bound morphemes are of two types:
i) Inflectional morpheme and
ii) Derivational morpheme a) Inflectional morphemes:
Toukoh in vânmiel a entou hi. Toukohte in vântung a enzouta uh hi.
Here, tou is free morpheme koh is bound morpheme in is free morpheme vân is free morpheme tung is bound morpheme
In toukohte ‘te’ is inflectional morpheme, which conveys the meaning of more than 1(one) toukoh=owl i.e it is a plural morpheme or marker. In other examples such as:- ‘nou’a’ here ‘a’ is inflectional morpheme. ‘enzou’ here ‘zou’ is inflectional morpheme. ‘zouta’ here ‘ta’ is inflectional morpheme. ‘peingam’ ‘ngam’ is inflectional morpheme. ‘nangma’ ‘ma’ is inflectional morpheme. ‘tungah’ ‘ah’ is inflectiuonalmorpheme.
b) Derivational morphemes: E.g. inpi ®pi tuom®om nezou®zou. Here,pi,om,zou are derivational morphemes. A morpheme that creates entirely a new word is called Derivational Morpheme. E.g. biehna,hiehna,khiehna,kiehna,piehna®h,na are derivational morpheme; basic morphemes are:- bie,hie,khie,kie,pie suffixed by na. chietna,khietna,phietna,sietna,hietna®t,na are derivational morpheme; basic morphemes are:- chie,khie,phie,sie,hie, suffixed by t,na. hâhna,jâmna,kâna,mâuna,lâuna,tâuna®na is derivational morpheme; basic morphemes are:- hâh,jâm,kâ,mâu,lâu,tâu suffixed by na kuom,tuom,duom,guom,huom,puom®m is derivational morpheme; basic morphemes are:- kuo,tuo,duo,guo,huo,puo suffixed y m eng,tung,lung,kuong,luong,tuong,ung®ng is derivational morpheme basic morphemes are:- e,tu,lu,kuo,luo,tuo,u, suffixed by ng gâi,hâi,kâi,lâi,mâi,nâi,mai,nai,sai,tai,vâi® i is derivational morpheme;
c) Continuous morphemes: Here there continuous formation of the morphemes one after the other. They occur together one after theother continuously.Such morphemes are called continuous morphemes. E.g. hinanleh,ahizongin,tuachiin,tuaziehin,tabangin,tobangin,kawilâizang, kawikawi,khinkhian,peita’ng,mawngmawng,bawlta’ng,tuinzong,tutuin etc.
d) Discontinuous morphemes: The singular morpheme numei means girl. The plural morpheme numeite means ‘girls’. When we say numei hoite ‘good girls’ the agreement of the phrase numei hoite is said to be realized by one morpheme ‘te’ which is the plura morpheme wherein the adjective hoi is infixed. The plural marker ‘te’ would be a discontinuous morpheme in this case.
e) Additive morphemes are: affixes,suprafixes and reduplicatives.
Suprafixes: in some languages suprasegmental features assume the role of a morpheme. The features are normally tone or nasalization or combination of both. In Zo language ton plays an important role in the formation of morphemes i. Level tone: sam ‘curse’ sâm ‘python’ ii. Rising tone: sám ‘hair’ sá:msan ‘samson’ iii.Falling tone: sàm ‘lacking’ sà:m chie ‘not quite’ f) Reduplicatives: Certain morphemes or parts of them are found to occur twice or more in a morphological construction in certain languages like Zo to express a particular meaning. This type of process is known as Reduplication. E.g. in Zo; nene ‘eat continuously’ hâmhâm ‘talk continuously’ gêngên ‘say continuously’ piepie ‘give continuously,kivielviel ‘move around always’,pei kawikawi ‘go about always’ peipei ‘go constantly’ khangkhang ‘increase continuously’ etc. g) Base Morphemes: Affixe are those additive morphemes which are added to the bases which are those lexical morphemes,which can both either a root or astem. Roor is the minimal common form or lexical morphemes of a lexeme which is ready for further construction to derive a lexical word-form. E.g. ha,mu,na,ka,lei,sang, zo,kam,nam,pei,pi,pu,te leh adgdg.Most of the morphemes in Zo can be classified as base morphemes. Here,pei is the base of peizou ‘gone’. In Zo language the base and stem are one and the same since every phonemic shape in Zo is by itself a morpheme.
Allomorphs of a morpheme
Allomorphs of a morpheme is the variant phonemic forms also known as the variants of morphemes. Variants of a morpheme differ from each other with regards to their phonemic shapes. Sometimes a morpheme has only one phonological form. But frequently it has a number of variants known as allomorphs.
Allomorphs are of two types:-
a)Phonologically conditioned allomorph and
b)Lexically conditioned allomorph. Some of the phonologically conditioned allomorphs are:-âh,âi,âm, âng,âp, bâh, bâi,bâl, bêl,chîn,chîng, dîng,ên,êng,gêl, gâng,gîng,gûn,hâl,hâng,hâm,hîm,jâng, kâp,lâm, mân,nâm,pâng, sâng,tâng,sîng,tân, tâng,ûh,vâng,zân,zâng are the phonologically conditioned allomorphs of the morphemes; ah,ai,am,ang, ap,bah,bai,bal,bel,chin, ching,ding,en,eng,gel,gang, ging,gun, hal, hang, ham,him,jang,kap,lam,man, nam,pang,sang,tang,sing,tan,tang, uh,vang, zan,zang. Both the above given sets of allomorphs and morphemes are infact have the same spellings but they differ in the pronunciation(phonetics); more accurately in their tonal sounds,each conveying different meanings. In English language,plural morphemes such as cats, dogs,rats,geese, oxen,sheep, pigs,are the allomorphs of singular morphemes cat,dog,rat,goose,ox, sheep,pig. Unlike English language there is no such phonemic shapes in Zo language. Let us take an example; The plural morpheme rats(zute in Zo) has an allomorph of singular morpheme rat(zu in Zo). Here, ‘te’ stands for English counterpart ‘s’. Whereas, as per definition of a morpheme, ‘te’ qualifies itself as a morpheme that is ‘te’ also means leaf/twig or tiny/minute in Zo language. Unlike English language,there is no example of lexically conditioned allomorph in Zo. If we take the morpheme ‘mêng’(cat) and say that ‘ngêu’ is the lexically conditioned allomorph. We find that the word ‘ngêu’ can be split into ‘ngê’ and ‘u’ each one of them is a morpheme in their own right as per the definition. So, we may conclude that there is no lexically conditioned allomorph in Zo language. Recognizing words and dentifying words: The job of a morphologist is to recognize the lexical word-forms and grammatical words those exist in actual sentences and utterances. Out of the two kinds of words the grammatical word cannot be decomposed further but the lexical word-forms can be decomposed further into meanigful morphemes or atomic meaningful units. E.g. in Zo : Mang hing peiding ‘Mang will come’ In this sentence there are two words out of which /mang/ is a proper noun and /hing peidîng/ is a lexical word-form of a verb. The word /Mang/ cannot be decomposed further in any case. However,the form /hing peidîng/ can be decomposed further. It can be decomposed further into /hing/, /pei/, /dîng/. Grouping the Paradigms We know that /pei/ refers to an act ‘to go’ therefore it is a lexical item and the root of the lexical word-form /peidîng/ ‘to go’ or /hing peidîng/ ‘will come’ or ‘to come’.
1.peidîng ‘to go’, ‘will go’
2.peidîngpa ‘one who will go’ masculine
3.peidîngnu ‘one who will go’ feminine
4.peitu dîng ‘one who will go’ neuter/common
5.peiva ‘will go’
6.peilou ‘not go’
7.peisa ‘past’ , ‘already gone’
8.peithei ‘can go’
9.peita ‘went’
10.peizou ‘gone’
11.peizouta ‘had gone’ pei ‘was gone’, ‘went’ pei ‘went there’ (imperative)
14.hing pei ‘to come’
A paradigm is a set of lexical word-forms in which lexical meaning of the lexeme is conveyed ,in addition to it,with grammatical meaning and at the same time there must be no change in the lexical meaning. So,lexical word-forms from 1-11 constitute paradigm for the phonemic shape /pei/ ‘to go’ the lexical word-forms from 12-14 do not constitute paradigm for /pei/ because they differ at lexical meaning. When ‘hing’ is placed before the lexical word-form /pei/ the meaning changes into ‘to come’. Paradigmatic relations deals with substitutability of words or morphemes in a syntagm or construction. Word: Finding chunks which is self-contained units in sequence and is interuptable and mobile. x x1 x’ ¬ ¬x ® ® x is any word. Stem or root word amd derived words: E.g. bi,dam,ham,kim,lem,tom,nu,pa,tu,zi are stem or root words. biphal, damlou,kimpi,lemna,tomkim,nupa,papi,tupa,zinu are derived words formed with suffixing the affixes/suffixes after the root words. They are derived words and are known as compound words or compounds.
Classification of Words:
Words can be classified into two categories; simple and complex.
A simple word such as ‘tang’ can not be split further into meaningful parts. It is a simple word. The word ‘singhum’ can be split further into meaninful parts and interupted into sing and hum. It is a complex or compound word. For examples: in the compound words such as; pape-san=redflower, tumging = tum+ging,lêngthei=lêng+thei,vângam=vân+gam, singpi=sing+pi, hâtna = hât+na, kâmkei=kâm+kei,zawngku=zawng+ku. The words pape,san, tum,ging,lêng,thei, vân,gam,sing,pi,hât,na,kâm,kei,zawng,ku each one can not be analyse or split or broken down into meaningful parts;each is uninteruptable hence we surmise that each is a Word. What is known as the stem or root.
Linguists recognize four kinds of words viz:-
i) Orthographic word
ii) Phonological word
iii) Lexical word
iv) Grammatical word.
i) Orthographic word: It is something written with white spaces at the end but no white spaces in the middle. This kind of word can be recognnized in a language having script and whose script does not represent the real pronunciation. E.g. dogs is an orthographic word whose phonological representation is /dogz. In Zo language sian is an orthographic word whose phonological representation is /sie:n/.
ii) Phonological word: It is a word that which is pronounced as a single word. It may not be a single word in tha language. E.g. ânglâinâu,bânzâl nêlzût,bânzâl sêmkawi,dâikaikên,
gammawngsing,gamtulta,gâlkhuodon,tângkhuokhâl, sienmâng,tongdam,tongsuo,dawkuongtui,sumtuol,khanglênli,khanglummei,khangzâmluong, lênmuol,lênsielki, thangvân, vaphuol, zâmluong, lâikuoi, lâiduong, lâmtuol, tungsûnni,
tumpangsiel,tangvâl,umlâivei,zângphuolva, zokuomthawn, zozâm, zoheisa, zovontawi, zuo -patâng,etc. which are infact consisting of two or more independent words combined to form a single which pronounced as a single word in the Zo language. Thus,we see that most of the poetic words in Zo are phonological words.
iii) Lexical word: It is another name for parts of speech. The morphemes whose meaning cannot be recognized/decided with the grammatical pattern of the language are known as lexical words. zawng,sieng, thuzui,thuchiem, Thangpu,nâusên, suatahin,nâhpitahin,kukaltah a leh adgdg.
iv) Function or Grammatical words: The words whose meaning can be arrived with the help of grammatical pattern of the language are known as Grammatical words. Words such as a,ah,in,tua,khum,(of,to,at,by,that) which show relationships between parts of sentence are called Function words. E.g. a,ah,in,tungah,neiah,lâiah,mâiah,mâ-ah,nualang,ta,tami, khu, khum, khun, khunah,tanah,tua etc. Let us study the following sentences: Jesu a nu =The mother of Jesus also shortened as Jesu’ nu. Vom hâng in Mângpu a keita hi. Tami la unlen ne un. Tua Chingnu hing pei dîng ka thei sih hi. Here,a,in,tami,tua are funcion words.
Closed-class words or Function words;
1.Modifiers called Determiners/Demonstratives; a,ta,tam,tami,tua,tuate,khum 2.Quantifiers/qualifiers: da,sengseng,taluo,mama,nâh,sim,hiau,maw,na,lou,sih, 3.Conjunctions/Joiners : a,in,jieh,le,len,leh,kal,zieh,zong
4.Connective including all Postpositions:a,ah,in,pat,pat a,toh
5. Auxiliary verbs ; peidîng, nethei,neva,peivang,bawl vawng,pezou, semzouta,genzouva,vahkhava, pei hi
6. Some Adverbs and Pronouns: ngam,ngâp,mun,hât,ha,heimi,hei-ah
Complex non-compound lexical word is one which do not have two or more lexical words in it or which do not have two lexical morphemes in it but have two or more morphemes in their construction.
Compounds or compound words: The words which are constituents of two or more lexical words are known as Compound words or compounds. In compounds two lexical morphemes combine together to form a single lexeme. E.g.1: bi,dam,ham,kim,lem,tom,nu,pa,tu,zi are stem or root words. biphal, damlou,kimpi,lemna,tomkim,nupa,papi,tupa,zinu are derived words formed with suffixing the affixes/suffixes after the root words. They are derived words and are known as compound words or compounds. E.g.2: /Zogam/ ‘land of Zo’ This is a compound word having two lexical words Zo ‘son of Zo progenitor’ and gam ‘land’ so,Zogam means ‘land of Zo’ . Compounds will also undergo inflectional process and derivational processes too. E.g No.3: Zo hing pei ‘to come’ + pa ‘nominalizer’= hingpeipa ‘one who comes’ masculine’ hingpei ‘to come’ +nu ‘nominalizer’=hingpeinu ‘one who comes ‘feminine gender The verb ‘hingpei’ suffixed with ‘pa’ becomes another word ‘hingpeipa’ which is a derived noun. E.g No.4 Zo kâ ‘cry’ o simply ‘weep’ +p + sah ‘causative verb’® kapsah ‘to cause to cry or weep’ The form /kâ_/ is the root of the verb ‘kap ‘ after it is suffixed with the suffix ‘sah’ it gives different meaning from that of its root kâ So the lexemes kap and sah are two different words and not the manifestation of the one and the same Inflections:
The Inflections or the word endings indicate the relationship between words. Let us study the following sentences:
1. Vom hâng in Mângpu a zâusahta hi; means:-The angry bear frightened Mângpu. (The bear angry Mângpu frightened). The sentence would mean the same if the words are arranged quite differently.
2. Mângpu, vom hâng in a zâusahta hi (Mânpu bear angry frightened )
3. Mângpu azâusahta hi, vom hâng in (Mângpu frightened the bear angry).
4. A zâusahta hi, vom hâng in Mângpu (Frightened the bear Mângpu). Here, it is the bear who frightened Mângpu not the other way round. Word order is not critical in Zo language,though some word orders are found. In linguistic terminology,Zo language is a Non-configurational language.
Word Classes: Like English, there can be four major word classess viz:-Noun(N), Adjective(A),Verb(V),Postposition(P) and Determiners (D) such as khum, khumi, tua,tuami,tam,tami,a. [Demonstratives, Conjunctions, Comparatives.]
Word Order: It is the relationship of one word to another word is called the Word Order.
Configurational languages relies critically on the word order,like English. Non-configurational language does not rely on the word order,like Zo. However,Zo language has SOV word order. Constituent Analysis:The linguistic procedure which divides sentences into their component parts or constituents is known as Constituent Analysis.
E.g. Mângpu in ann a nêta hi. 1. [Mângpu in][ ann][a netahi].
The seven original components are reduced to three more basic ones.
The second and third portion could be replaced by a single word such as kâp,en,hil,thei,hân etc. 2. [Mângpu in][an a neta hi]. The three components are reduced to two basic ones. Similarly,the second portion could be replaced by a single word suchas en, kâp, hil, sawl, hân etc. . Morphological processes
The following are the morphological processes found in Zo language:
1. Inflections
2. Derivations
3.Affixation(prefixation,suffixation and infixation)
4. Contraction
5. Tonal variations or Functional shifts
6. Onotomatopoeia
Derivation morphology
Derivation morphology is concerned with the morphemes which can after getting affixed with root/stem result in a new lexeme or another lexeme in a language. In derivation the complex non-compound lexical word denotes different concepts from its base. Derivational affixes can change the grammatical category of a lexeme,they do not have regular meaning. They create new lexemes and change either the semantic or status or class of the lexeme,word-class or parts of speech. Derivational morphology is also known as Lexical morphology. It is the study of lexicon and word coinage.
Both inflectional morphology and derivational morphology are two of the most important processes of word-formation.
Inflectional morphology
Inflection morphology is concerned with morphemes which constitute the lexical word-forms in a given sentence and is closely related with syntax. In inflections do not change the grammatical category of the base to which they are added. The inflectional affixes have regular meanings. It creates lexical word-forms of already known lexeme but not new lexemes. E.g. in Zo language Ama peizouta ‘he had gone’Where the second word ‘peizouta’ is the manifestation of the verb ‘pei’ ‘to go’ in an actual sentence,along with ‘zou’ perfect tense marker and ‘ta’ past tense marker. So, peizou means ‘have gone’ and ‘peizouta’ means ‘had gone’. Therefore,we see that in inflections the complex non-compound lexical word denotes the same concept as that of its base.

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