Download PDF by Matras, Yaron: A Grammar of Domari

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Sample text

In some of the northern dialects, an aspectual marker ND is used for the present indicative or proximate future. (c) In grammatical vocabulary, the northern dialects retain the Indic particle VD for ‘all’, contrasting with Kurdish-derived JL߂W in the south. Kurdish numerals are more predominant in the north (but also in Hauran). Northern dialects tend to use the Persian preposition ] ‘from’, while southern dialects use Arabic PLQ. The present-tense negation particle QD is found only in the north, while the proclitic LQ is found in both northern and southern varieties.

W. Dixon, to remove such insertions from the transcriptions and to replace them 34 Chapter 1: Introduction by ‘authentic’ lexemes representing the ‘original’ language that was the goal of the documentation project. This principle was to be followed even if it meant retrieving the ‘missing’ word from another member of the community and inserting it artificially into the transcription of the discourse of the speaker who had been recorded. It struck me at the time more vividly than ever before that even in the context of first-hand, empirical documentation, a ‘language’ is a linguist’s construction, and that a language description is an idealisation of what the investigator is most interested in rather than an objective, purely scientific way of capturing speakers’ modes of communicating with one another in a speech community.

We came here. We settled here in Dir Asirjir. Dialect differences in Domari i. j. k. l. m. n. o. p. 17 It has now been first/ that is, fifty days/ fifty years [for us here]. We settled here. We took Abu Zir’s sister’s daughter. We took her for my son Ahmad. She gave birth and she stayed here. We started to go to work and to return back here. We stayed and we built up here. ’ As can be seen through a comparison with examples presented in the following chapters, the language of this excerpt is almost identical to the Domari speech of Jerusalem.

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A Grammar of Domari by Matras, Yaron

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