A Grammar of Kam Revealed in Its Narrative Discourse
The Kam language of China possesses fifteen tones - more than any other language. Yet it has long been neglected as an area of research, especially from the perspective of discourse analysis. This study initiates the exploration of the interface between grammar and discourse by examining various aspects of Kam narrative discourse, and using a functional approach to reveal its structural properties. It also introduces the mechanism for phonological and syntactic variations, as well as classifier variants and sentence-final particles (SFPs) in discourse and word order variations. Finally, it discusses the influence of social setting on narrative structure and offers the most up-to-date ethnological and social information about the community. Tongyin Yang, born March 21, 1966, a native Kam speaker from Tongdao, Hunan Province of China, is a linguist whose work spans five subdisciplines: Kam-Tai languages, field linguistics, discourse analysis, language contact, and the interface between language and music. He has done extensive fieldwork in Kam-Tai languages such as Kam, Mak, Jin, Sui , Buyei, and Hlai. His publications include four books and about twenty academic articles. He received his BA and MA from MINZU University of China and his doctorate in linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2004. He was an assistant researcher at the Institute of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences from 1992 to 1996 and is a professor at the School of Linguistic Sciences and executive dean at the International College, Jiangsu Normal University, China.
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