A new future construction from the verb t̪i ‘say’ in Pangkhua

This seminar will be presented by Zahid Akter, The University of Sydney.

The flyer for this event can be accessed here.


In many languages, grammatical markers of “future” derive historically from a verb meaning ‘want’ (for example, English will). In Pangkhua, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, a new future construction has evolved from a verb t̪i meaning ‘say’. This is notwithstanding the fact that the language already has a morphological marker of future tense -at, which though it continues to occur in the language, the ‘say’ verb seems to be steadily replacing. In addition to its cross-linguistic rarity, another remarkable phenomenon about this future construction is that no other genetically or areally related languages appear to exhibit this development, which may be unique to Pangkhua. In this talk, I will describe the structural and distributional properties of t̪i ‘say’ in relation to the future marker, also taking into consideration a distinct and more familiar case in which t̪i ‘say’ has developed into a reportative marker. I will conclude by discussing implications of this study for grammaticalization theory and for the typology of Tibeto-Burman languages.

This seminar will be held on Friday 21 May 2021 at 12PM over Zoom.

To access the Zoom seminar, please see the flyer for access details, or access the meeting here.

The event is finished.


30 Jul 2021


12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


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