Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Keith W. Slaiter

Abstract

Shughni is one of the best documented and described languages of the Pamirs. Linguistic research so far has focused on the verbal system of Shughni grammar but no detailed study has been done on the deictic system of the language. In this thesis I will describe grammatical and semantic aspects of the deictic system in Shughni.

During the course of the project I observed natural conversations, and listened to stories and discussions, and additionally I elicited sentences or conversations in order to clarify structures or understanding of previous observations.

In this thesis I describe the grammatical structures of Shughni deixis using Role and Reference grammar as theoretical framework. I describe how Shughni expresses the three basic semantic categories of deixis: person, space and time. Furthermore I present evidence that Shughni uses a deictic hierarchy and a landmark system to express location and direction. In local deixis river-flow supersedes mountain-slope, which are both superseded by the flow of the Panj River when using a global perspective.

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