Translated Titles

Empathy Hierarchy in Caodeng rGyalrong Grammar


孫天心(Jackson T. S. Sun);石丹羅(Dan-Luo Shi)

Key Words

藏緬語 ; 四大壩嘉戎語 ; 草登話 ; 認同等第 ; Tibeto-Burman ; Sidaba rGyalrong ; Caodeng ; empathy hierarchy



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

3卷1期(2002 / 01 / 01)

Page #

79 - 99

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

Linguistic structure frequently encodes differences in the way a speaker identifies (or empathizes) with various entity types (such as speech-act participant vs. non-participant, human vs. animal, animate vs. inanimate) that are involved in the discourse, resulting in so-called 'empathy hierarchies'. rGyalrong is notable among Tibeto-Burman languages for possessing such elaborately developed distinctions, with wide repercussions to its grammatical structure. This article draws upon first-hand data from the Caodeng subdialect of the Sidaba dialect to explore the semantic and pragmatic bases of the rGyalrong empathy hierarchy, as well as its impact on several important grammatical areas: nominal ergative marking, verb agreement, direction, and attention flow. The morphosyntactic evidence examined herein reveals a five-degree hierarchy: speaker > hearer > human third person > non-human animate > non-animate. Different pairwise oppositions on the hierarchy manifest different degrees of control on the grammar of the language.

Topic Category 人文學 > 語言學
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