Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Introduction to Zo Grammar

New Words are formed two processes:
a)The branch of linguistics that deals with word formation rules is also called Derivational Morphology.
b)NEOLOGISMS: Creation of new words is called Neologisms.
The following are the processes of creation of new words:-
Coined Words: Speakers can invent or coin a previously non-existent word with a new sound and connecting with it with a new member. For example: ‘vangla’ is one word meaning ‘far’ and ‘tongkum’ is another word meaning ‘talk’ both have different meanings if they exist independently,but when they are joined together as one as in ‘vanglatongkum’ it form an entirely new word meaning ‘telephone directory’.
Acronyms: The words UZO (pronounced ‘uZou’) comes from United Zo Organization. RC means Roman Catholic.
Alphabetical Abbreviations: Abbreviations such as ZOD,ZYO,UZO etc have replaced their longer words such as Zo Organization Delhi,Zou Youth Organization,United Zo Organization in most styles of speech; through this process new,previously nonexistent words have come into use.
Clippings: Clipped abbreviations such as Nh for Ngáhnu/Nungáh,Tv or Tg. for Tangvâl are used in Zo .The spelling of the word is shortened but its pronunciation is not altered.
Blends: New words can be formed from existing ones by various blending processes(mixing processes).For examples; zokuom from zo and kuom,zogam from zo and gam.
Generified words: ‘zu’ and ‘tang’ are common words. The early christians who did not drink or abstain(tang) from drinking wine are called zutang in some parts of Zo areas. Now, zutang is used to indicate people who teetotaller/non-drinker.
Proper Nouns: Some behaviour associated with a person becomes identified with that person’s name or actions from legends or famed persons. ‘Penglam bang’ is a phrase to mean a non-serious person.
Borrowings: Direct:Many speakers of a language borrow directly or indirectly the vocubulary of another language.
Zo speakers have borrowed many words from other languages; Belâm,Chanchin,mahni,fel etc from Mizo(Lusei),ironba,dolien from Meitei, Tv,Telephone etc from English,matpongten,tu from Burmese etc.
Borrowings; Indirect: When an expression in one language is translated literally into another language. For examples; train with full steam and fire which runs swiftly as if flying is known as Meilêng in Zo;literally translated means flying fire.
b)Changing the meaning of words are affected by the following processes:
i)Change in part of Speech: A word can be modified by changing its grammatical category. For example; Panpi,bawl,lêng,sim can be used as verbs as well as nouns,adjectives and so on depending upon the syntax.
ii)Metaphorical Extension:
When a language does not seem to have just right expression for certain purposes ,speakers often take an existing one and extend its meaning in a recogizable way. The language does not gain a new word a such,but since a word is being used in a new waay,the language has been augmented,as though a new word had been added. For examples: lêng--->fly lêng-->roam,visit
melmu tongsan-->tv
kângtui tung a lâm piendangnou-->ship, lênna-->aircraft, vânlêng-->airplane,space vehicles
iii)Broadening: Broadening of word meanings from a single to many; neitah-->thing----:>zu
iv)Narrowing: sa-->meat,any solid food at one time now it means edible flesh of animals only.
v)Semantic drift: or change; Hlaf=bread in old English now loaf
uh--->vuh,ung--->vung u’v-->vua uh am-->uvam uei-->-ve’i
vi)Reversals: Kilebul: bad means good
vii)Orthographical influence: Diei--->diai,suoh-->suah

Like English, in Zo there are four major word classes:- Noun(N),Adjective(A),Verb(V),Postposition(P) and Determiners (D) such as khum,khumi,tua,tuami,tam,tami,a.[ Demonstratives,Conjunctions,Comparatives.]
Parts of speeches
Words also can be classified in two types:
i)Open-class words or Content words: nouns,verbs,adjectives,adverbs
ii)Closed-class words or Function 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. They do not suffer change easily. Let us study the following sentences:
Jesu a nu =The mother of Jesus also shortened as Jesu’ nu.
Vom hâng in Mângpu akeita hi.
Tua Chingnu hing pei dîng ka thei sih hi.
1.Determiners/Demonstratives; a,ta,tam,tami,tua,khum
3.Conjunctions: a,in,le,leh,len,leh,kal,zong,ahilouleh,ahisihleh
4.Postpositions:a,ah,in,pat,pat a,toh
5.Auxiliary verbs ;peidîng, nethei,neva,peivang, bawl vawng,
pezou,semzouta,genzouva,vah khava, pei hi
Function words
1.Auxiliary verbs ; peidíng, nethei,neva,peiva'ng,bawl vawng,
pezou,semzouta,genzouva,vahkhava, pei hi.
2.Connectives i/c all pospositions(ah,a,in,pat,toh)
4.Modifiers called Determiners/Demonstratives(a,khumte,tuate,tami,..a)
5.Qualifiers; ( da,sengseng,taluo,mama,nâh,sim,hiau,maw,na,lou,sih,)
6.Adverbs and Pronouns: ngam,ngâp,mun,hât,heimi,hei-ah.
There are 12(twelve) ways in which words are formed in Zo language viz:-
i)Compounding and Compounds
ii) Interchageablity of member words
iii)Inflections or Inflectional Morphology
iv)Inflections of words by Infixation
v)Inflections of words by functional prefixes: Hing,Ki and Va
viInflections of words by Splitting-cum-Infixing
vii)Derivational Morphology [affixes(prefixes,suffixes,infixes)]
viii)Phonological change or Vowel change
ix)Intonation; tonal variations
x)Functional Shift
xi)Onomatopoecia(sound and meaning are same)

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