A Grammar Of Lepcha

Front Cover
BRILL, 2007 - Social Science - 254 pages
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The Lepcha language has been shrouded in a veil of tantalising mystique ever since Colonel George Mainwaring in the 1870s disseminated the myth that Lepcha was the most perfect of tongues and represented the primordial language of men and fairies. The present book is the first ever comprehensive reference grammar of this language, spoken by the indigenous tribal people of Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kalimpong. Some popular lore about Lepcha has a firm basis in fact, however. Lepcha represents a branch unto itself within the Tibeto-Burman languages. Lepcha is written in its own unique script. This highly readable grammar explains the structure of the language, its sound system and salient features, and includes a "lexicon" and cultural history. With financial support of the International Institute for Asian Studies (www.iias.nl).
  

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Great book!

Contents

LIST OF FIGURES
4
The Lepcha homeland
8
Boys and girls at a festival at Dámsáng Dri
9
Two young girls from Ngáse Kyóng
10
Girls at a festival at Dámsáng Dri
11
Elderly man at a festival at Mane Gombú
12
Elderly man at a festival at Mane Gombú
13
Young girl in Gangtok
14
Affixed consonant signs
37
Romanisation systems 4243
43
Transliteration and transcription of Lepcha vowels
44
PARTS OF SPEECH
45
NOMINAL MORPHOLOGY
53
Personal pronouns
66
Singular oblique pronouns
67
Lepcha numbers
98

Mun from Kurseong at a festival at Dámsáng Dri
15
Bóngthíng from Gít Byóng at a festival at Dámsáng Dri
16
PHONOLOGY AND ORTHOGRAPHY
17
Lepcha vowel phonemes
18
Lepcha consonant phonemes
22
Syllableinitial consonant clusters
31
Original order of the syllabary
33
Consonant letters
35
Final consonant signs
36
VERBAL MORPHOLOGY
103
CLAUSEFINAL PARTICLES COORDINATION
131
THE MOUNTAIN DEVIL
145
THE STORY OF THE JACKAL
165
TWO LEPCHA GIRLS
185
ZÓNGGÚ
207
BIBLIOGRAPHY
247
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Heleen Plaisier defended her Ph.D. in Leiden in 2006. She published a descriptive catalogue of the extensive collection of old Lepcha manuscripts at Leiden in 2003 and is currently working on a critical edition of an unpublished late nineteenth-century Lepcha dictionary.