Posted On June 15, 2020
I just got the word that my abstract was accepted for presentation at the 53rd meeting of the International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics.
This year marks the first time that the conference is being held virtually from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. I’m glad that it is being held virtually, because I wouldn’t have been able to attend, otherwise.
I wrote an abstract for the conference, which is readable HERE. The abstract has to do with a Chin language called Ngawn /ŋɔ̂n/ that I have collected preliminary data for. It’s similar to Sizang, but there are several differences in both grammar and the sound system. My presentation will focus on the classification of Ngawn.
Languages are classified into families, just as animals are classified into families. Within each language family exist many subgroups. To belong to a certain subgroup, there are defined characteristics of each language that say, “because these languages have this, they all belong to one subgroup.” Since not much phonological (sound system) data had been previously collected for Ngawn, my paper uses the preliminary data I gathered to classify Ngawn as “Northern South Central Tibeto-Burman”, more commonly called “Northern Kuki-Chin”. My friend, David Peterson (no, not the Game of Thrones David Peterson) has been pushing to call the sub-group something neutral, as Kuki is a word that comes from Bengali and Chin is a Burmese word. Neither words are autonyms, but that’s a different issue altogether.
I actually wrote the abstact over a month ago, but I had to anonymize it for acceptance, so I didn’t want to publicly post it, yet.