A Grammar of Pnar

PhD defended at: 

Nanyang Technological University


Hiram Ring



This thesis provides an initial descriptive analysis of a largely undescribed Austroasiatic language of Meghalaya, northeast India. Pnar has often been overlooked because of its lexical similarity to Khasi, with which it shares a common identity and society. While the introduction describes some of the culture and society of the Pnar and the milieu of the speakers, the focus is on describing their language. Features such as verb-initial constituent order, processes of nominalization and derivation, prepositional marking, a rich gender system, a large set of deictic markers, and the use of plural marking within classifier phrases prove that Pnar is richly deserving of study. In 481 pages, the thesis attempts to thoroughly examine the phonological, morphological, and grammatical structure of this language for the benefit of the speakers and the larger linguistic community. An additional 215 pages of appendices include a selection of texts, a list of elaborate expressions, and a 1,600 word lexicon.

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