Khaling verb dictionary

I came back lack week from a short stay in Kathmandu, where I worked with my main collaborators (in particular Dhana, Dhan Maya, Yadav Kumar and Eka Prasad) on the draft of the Khaling (-Nepali-English) verb dictionary. All entries were revised at least two times, and we recorded most of the example sentences (except for some “sensitive” words). I do not claim, though, that the result is perfect, and I think that some additional proofreading is necessary.

Due to the time constraints, I decided not to go to the Khaling villages this time, but to stay at Dhana’s home in Kathmandu instead. It is amazing how, hundreds of kilometers away from the Kiranti heartland, it is possible to live in a Khaling-speaking environment in a suburb of the capital. Even Dhana’s children (and some of the neighbour’s children too) are good speakers of the language, a remarkable accomplishment in comparison with other Rai communities in Kathmandu.

The recording conditions were not ideal of course at my friend’s home (especially with the dogs barking incessantly), so we looked for a recording studio. Thanks to Dhana’s younger brother, Pavidhan, who is a composer and arranger of local music, we found a first studio, which was unfortunately located nearby the house of people who were keeping a dog: its furious barks were audible from within the recording room. We thus had to move to another location, where we could benefit from better recording conditions, but only a portion of the dictionary was recorded in that studio.

Aside from the dictionary, which was my main focus for this research trip, we worked on the verb paradigms, especially complex predicates and reflexive verbs. I now have enough data to write an article on this topic, which I hope to finish before June. I have also recorded a mythological story recounting the creation of the world, which presents some commonalities with the one analyzed by George van Driem in his Dumi grammar.


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