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Department of Linguistics

Narayan Sharma

Overview

Staff Silhouette
Name:
Narayan Sharma
Thesis title:
Morphosyntax of Puma
Internal Supervisors

External Supervisors

Professor Peter Sells (The University of York)

PhD Research

Narayan’s thesis examines the morphosyntax of Puma, a Tibeto-Burman (Kiranti) language spoken in eastern Nepal, focusing on phonology and morphology, clause structures, transitivity alternations, compound verb constructions, grammatical relations, and nominalisation and relativisation. His dissertation investigates very interesting linguistic characteristics of Puma like very complex system of verbal agreement, where verbs agree with subjects and objects, two types of detransitivisation (zero and kha-) where second type is typologically unusual, but it is characteristic of many Kiranti languages, split ergativity, upside-down ergativity, split-S (unergative and unaccusative), morphologically ergative-absolutive-dative but syntactically accusative language, and both primary vs secondary languages and direct vs indirect languages. Narayan submitted his PhD dissertation for examination in September 2013 and his viva will take place in January 2014.

Background

Narayan gained his MA in Linguistics and MA in English literature from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and his MA dissertations were concerned with ‘Clause structures in Thakali’ and ‘Thakali NP in X-bar syntax’. He has previously worked on Gurung-Nepali-English’ Dictionary. Prior to start my PhD at SOAS, I worked for DoBeS funded Chintang and Puma Documentation Project (CPDP) (2004-2009) as a Research Assistant which was directed by Prof. Balthasar Bickel, now at the University of Zurich, taking responsibility of grammar, lexicon and verb paradigms of the Puma language. My research interests include morphology, syntax and semantics, and their interface to each other, linguistic typology on Tibeto-Burman languages, especially languages of the Kiranti group, language documentation and description, field linguistics, and lesser-known and endangered languages. He has previously worked on Thakali and Gurung, minority Tibeto-Burman languages of Nepal.

Fellowships and awards

  • Global Supplimentary Grant Program (GSGP) Europe, London, UK, 2012
  • Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, ADHO Bursary, Germany, 2012 (declined)
  • Individual Graduate Scholarship (IGS), ELDP, SOAS, UK, 2010
  • Overseas Research Students Awards (ORSAS), SOAS, UK, 2009
  • Endangered Language Academic Programme Bursary (ELAP), SOAS, UK, 2009
  • Research Fellowship, University Grants Commission (UGC), Nepal, 2008 (declined)
  • LSN Excellent Award, Silver Jubilee of Linguistic Society of Nepal, 2004

PhD Publications

  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2013. Argument structure of Puma. SOAS Working Papers, Vol. 16, 235-255. Department of Linguistics, London: SOAS.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. (in press). A sketch of Puma phonology. In Dan R. Regmi and Balram Prasain (eds.), Nepalese Linguistics, Vol. 28. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2012. Linguistic fieldwork revisited on Puma. In Dan R. Regmi, Balram Prasain and Ramesh Khatri (eds.), Nepalese Linguistics, Vol. 27, 199-205. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.   
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2011. Tense, aspect and modality in Thakali. In Govinda R. Bhattarai, Krishna P. Chalise and Balram Prasain (eds.), Nepalese Linguistics, Vol. 26, 250-260. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2010. Puma case markers. In Shree Kumar Rai (ed.), Bungwaphop, Year 3, Half-yearly, 15-19.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2008. Thakali language: A phonemic overview. In Jai R. Awasthi, Ganga R. Gautam, and Bhim N. Regmi (eds.) Nepalese Linguistics, Vol 23, 355-370. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2006. Outline of Thakali language and clause combining. In Novel K. Rai, Yogendra P. Yadava, and Balram Prasain et al. (eds.), Nepalese Linguistics, Vol 22, 240- 266. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.
  • Sharma, Narayan P., Balthasar Bickel, Martin Gaenszle, Arjun Rai, and Vishnu Rai. 2005. Personal and possessive pronoun in Puma (Southern Kiranti). In Yogendra P. Yadava (ed.),Contemporary issues in Nepalese Linguistics, 225-231. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.
  • Rai, Vishnu Singh, Shree K. Rai, Narayan P. Sharma, Diana Schackow, Sabine Guenthar, Arjun Rai, Ganesh Rai, Martin Gaenszle, Judith Pettigrew and Balthasar Bickel. 2008. Puma Dictionary and Grammar. Kathmandu: Kirant Puma Rai Tupkhabangkhala.
  • Bickel, Balthasar, Martin Gaenszle, Arjun Rai, Premdhoj Rai, Shree K. Rai, Vishnu S. Rai, and Narayan P. Sharma. 2007. Two ways of suspending object agreement in Puma: between incorporation, antipassivization, and optional agreement. Himalayan Linguistics 7, 1-18.
  • Yadava, Yogendra P., Narayan Sharma, Balaram Prasain and Bhim Narayan Regmi. 2004.Gurung-Nepali-English Dictionary. Kathmandu: The National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN).

PhD Conferences

  • Sharma, Narayan P. (to be held). Nominalisation in Puma. Paper to be presented in the Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory (LDLT) 4. SOAS, University of London. December 7-8, 2013a.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2013b. Where does the Puma templatic morphology fail? Paper presented in 19th International Congress of Linguists, University of Geneva. Geneva, Switzerland, July 22-27.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2013c. Argument Structure in Puma. Poster presented in 5th Biennial Meeting of the Rice Linguistics Society: Language, Culture, and Cognition, Rice University in Houston, Texas, USA, February 8-9.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2012a. Digital technology and archiving challenges in the endangered language documentation. Paper presented in NODEM 2012 Hong Kong, DIHA Special session: Archiving and Visualisation of Tangible Heritage, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, City University, Hong Kong, December 2-5.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2012b. Non-verbal Predicates in Puma. Paper presented in 33rdAnnual conference of Linguistic Society of Nepal, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. November 26-27.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2012c. Split ergativity and object marking in Kiranti languages: A typological perspective. Paper presented in 45th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics (ICSTLL45), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, October 25-28.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2012d. Fieldwork in Nepal: Outline of Puma. Paper presented in 10thNepal Study Day, Centre for Nepal Studies United Kingdom, Queensland College, Reading, UK. April 19-20.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2011. Argument structures in Puma. Paper presented in PhD Forum, Department of Linguistics, SOAS, London, June 06.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2010a. Language Documentation: The SOAS and DOBES Experience. Paper presented in the Consortium on Training in Language Documentation and Conservation (CTLDC), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), Tokyo, Japan, November 10-16.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2010b. Differential Object Marking in Puma. Paper presented in 31stAnnual Conference of Linguistic Society of Nepal, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. November 26-27.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2010c. Argument Realization in Puma. Paper presented in 2nd South of England Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) meeting, SOAS,          London, UK, May 8.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2010d. Participation in Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), Kyoto, Japan, March 8-13.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2009a. Deictic Expressions in Puma. Paper presented in Workshop on Spatial Expressions at CASTL, the University of Tromso, Tromso, Norway, May 15.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2009b. Spatial Quirks: Evidence from the Puma Language. Paper presented in Workshop on Spatial Expressions at CASTL, the University of Tromso, Tromso, Norway, May 13.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2008. Digital Technology in Puma Documentation and Pitfalls. Paper presented in 29th Annual Conference       of Linguistic Society of Nepal, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, November 26-27.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2007. Spatial Deixis in Puma. Paper presented in 13th Himalayan Languages Symposium, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, India, October 22-25.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2006. Compound Verbs in Puma. Paper presented in 12th Himalayan Languages Symposium and 27th Annual Conference of Linguistic  Society of Nepal,Kathmandu. November 26-27.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2005. Case markers in Puma. Paper presented in 26th Annual Conference of Linguistic Society of Nepal, Kathmandu, November 26-27.
  • Sharma, Narayan P. 2004. Personal pronouns in Puma. Paper presented in 25th Annual Conference and Silver Jubilee of Linguistic Society of Nepal, Kathmandu, November 26-27.