Nominalization in Nuosu Yi

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Nuosu Yi (a Tibeto-Burman language spoken mainly in the southwestern provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou in China) has two sentential nominalizers. One is the morpheme <i>ko<sup>33</sup></i> (a third person singular pronoun in origin), which is used to mark verb complement clauses, topic clauses, temporal adverbial clauses, and conditional clauses. The other is the morpheme <i>su<sup>33</sup></i>, which is found in gerundives, relative clauses, and sentential focus clauses. In this paper, we start with a descriptive distinction between derivational nominalization and syntactic nominalization in Nuosu Yi, and then move on to an examination of the nominalization strategies involved in the use of <i>su<sup>33</sup></i>, whose grammatical functions range over marking definiteness, relativization, and focus complementation. We explore the mechanisms giving rise to structural reanalysis that has taken place in <i>su<sup>33</sup></i> nominalization. We also extend our analysis to the morpheme ko33 and discuss its similarities with and differences from <i>su<sup>33</sup></i> and how it develops from a pronoun to a sentential nominalizer.


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