Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | CHILL talk

The Tangwang language: a typological overview

Monday 9 December 2019
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The Tangwang language spoken in Gansu province largely displays OV order, but this surface OV order is conditioned by clearly identifiable constraints, thus indicating that VO is the underlying order. Many alleged OV characteristics in Tangwang likewise exist in other Northern Mandarin languages. The fact that adjunct NPs must precede the verb mirrors the situation in Mandarin which also has cases of argument PPs that must occur in preverbal position. The “mixed” nature of the Tangwang language is superficial only. Whether ultimately the high frequency of surface OV sequences is due to contact with the neighbouring OV Altaic languages remains an open question.

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