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Free Prefix Ordering in Chintang

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Bickel,  Balthasar
Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Lieven,  Elena
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Stoll,  Sabine
Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bickel, B., Banjade, G., Gaenszle, M., Lieven, E., Paudyal, N. P., Rai, I. P., et al. (2007). Free Prefix Ordering in Chintang. Language, 83(1), 43-73. doi:10.1353/lan.2007.0002.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-FFA6-0
Abstract
This article demonstrates prefix permutability in Chintang (Sino-Tibetan, Nepal) that is not constrained by any semantic or morphosyntactic structure, or by any dialect, sociolect, or idiolect choice—a phenomenon ruled out by standard assumptions about grammatical words. The prefixes are fully fledged parts of grammatical words and are different from clitics on a large number of standard criteria. The analysis of phonological word domains suggests that prefix permutability is a side-effect of prosodic subcategorization: prefixes occur in variable orders because each prefix and each stem element project a phonological word of their own, and each such word can host a prefix, at any position.