This paper attempts to discuss the convergence phenomena in the Amdo Sprachbund in the light of genetic and cultural/religious factors. As an ethnolinguistically diverse region, the Amdo Sprachbund constitutes a natural laboratory for the study of language contact and human interaction at large. Unsurprisingly, populations within the Amdo Sprachbund show considerable signs of genetic admixture which sometimes result in disagreement between genetic structure and linguistic affiliation. More remarkably, their languages appear to show varying degrees of structural convergence towards Amdo Tibetan depending on their religious practice. To wit, syllable-initial consonant clusters and a three-term evidential system, two features which are clearly attributable to Tibetic influence, are only found in languages whose speakers practise(d) Tibetan Buddhism. These observations suggest that genetic and various sociohistorical factors should be taken into account in the study of areal linguistics.

Revisiting the Amdo Sprachbund: Genes, languages, and beyond

Szeto, Pui Yiu
2021

Abstract

This paper attempts to discuss the convergence phenomena in the Amdo Sprachbund in the light of genetic and cultural/religious factors. As an ethnolinguistically diverse region, the Amdo Sprachbund constitutes a natural laboratory for the study of language contact and human interaction at large. Unsurprisingly, populations within the Amdo Sprachbund show considerable signs of genetic admixture which sometimes result in disagreement between genetic structure and linguistic affiliation. More remarkably, their languages appear to show varying degrees of structural convergence towards Amdo Tibetan depending on their religious practice. To wit, syllable-initial consonant clusters and a three-term evidential system, two features which are clearly attributable to Tibetic influence, are only found in languages whose speakers practise(d) Tibetan Buddhism. These observations suggest that genetic and various sociohistorical factors should be taken into account in the study of areal linguistics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3751106
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