Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Stephen A. Marlett


This thesis traces the historical development of the understanding of White Hmong grammar, comparing, contrasting, and synthesizing the extant analyses. It then responds to these analyses, based exclusively on a corpus of interlinearized texts included as appendices. It proposes new elements in the grammar including an indefinite article, a potential prefix (the perfective aspect marker), and several aspect markers that have grammaticalized from adverbs. It resolves conflicting descriptions of the constituent order of the noun phrase. It clarifies a number of incomplete or inaccurate descriptions including the lexical and structural ambiguity of constructions involving the homophones of tau (a lexical verb, an aspect marker, and a modal auxiliary), the deixis system of demonstratives, and restrictions on the use of classifiers and personal pronouns. It quantifies the frequency of syntactically and pragmatically controlled zero anaphora and proposes restrictions on its pragmatic use. It also provides RRG-style diagrams of serial verb constructions.

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