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General Characterization - Simple Sentence :
The most general characterization of Mishmi syntax is that the sentences are structured around a predicate. The predicate, when not further modified, may itself be a sentence. The predicate consists of any one of the constructions described in section 3.3. The predicate may be modified by a number of nominals.


S ®

(NP+) VP

The word order is more or less rigidly fixed as subject - X - object - verb where X is a cover symbol for other syntactic components.


 Noun Phrase :
If it does not contain a pronoun, a Noun Phrase, as a rule, contains a noun. It can also contain any number of adjectives (though, in texts, few Noun Phrases have more than two adjectives). The adjectives follow the noun but precede the case inflexions. A typical Noun Phrase of this type consists of a noun (N), followed by a sentence intensifier (i1), one or more adjectives (m1, m2, m3, etc.), a lexical intensifier (i2), and a classifier - numeral combination (cl-n). Except the noun, all others are optional.

                  3S2       NP ® N + (i+m1+m2+ . . . . i2) + (cl + n)

Conoccurrence Restrictions :


The presence of i1 requires the presence of i2.


The presence of i2 requires the presence of at least one adjective.


The occurrence of the classifier numeral combination and that of the intensfier adjetive combination are independent of each other.


The sentence intensifier is always /ąlyaym/ `incomparable’.

Though a Noun Phrase with a long string of the above elements is theoretically possible, in actual texts Noun Phrases are seldom more complex than three components.

/tabįb  dra/ `big snake’
snake big

/tabįbtyaa/ `five snakes’
snake c1 five

/tabįb  thįyg  grag/ `very poisonous snake’
snake poisonous intens.

/tabįb   thįyg   dra/ `big poisonous snake’
snake poisonous big

/tabįb   ąlyaym   thįyg   grag/
snake   incomparable   poisonous  intens.
`very  highly  poisonous  snake’

/tabįb   ąlyaym  thįyg   grag   tyaa/
snake incomparable poisonous intens. cl-five
`five   very   highly   poisonous   snakes’

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