A grammar of Yakkha

Diana Schackow  


Yakkha language, Nepal, Grammatical description, Linguistic typology, Sino-Tibetan languages


This grammar provides the first comprehensive grammatical description of Yakkha, a Sino-Tibetan language of the Kiranti branch. Yakkha is spoken by about 14,000 speakers in eastern Nepal, in the Sankhuwa Sabha and Dhankuta districts. The grammar is based on original fieldwork in the Yakkha community. Its primary source of data is a corpus of 13,000 clauses from narratives and naturally-occurring social interaction which the author recorded and transcribed between 2009 and 2012. Corpus analyses were complemented by targeted elicitation. The grammar is written in a functional-typological framework. It focusses on morphosyntactic and semantic issues, as these present highly complex and comparatively under-researched fields in Kiranti languages. The sequence of the chapters follows the well-established order of phonological, morphological, syntactic and discourse-structural descriptions. These are supplemented by a historical and sociolinguistic introduction as well as an analysis of the complex kinship terminology. Topics such as verbal person marking, argument structure, transitivity, complex predication, grammatical relations, clause linkage, nominalization, and the topography-based orientation system have received in-depth treatment. Wherever possible, the structures found were explained in a historical-comparative perspective in order to shed more light on how their particular properties have emerged.


Author Biography

Diana Schackow

Diana Schackow completed her M.A. in Linguistics, Central Asian Studies and Indian Studies at the University of Leipzig. She holds a Ph.D. degree in General Linguistics from the University of Zürich. She works as a freelance communication designer in Germany.

book cover


November 24, 2015
LaTeX source on GitHub
Cite as
Schackow, Diana. 2015. A grammar of Yakkha. (Studies in Diversity Linguistics 7). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.17169/langsci.b66.12


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Details about the available publication format: PDF


ISBN-13 (15)


Publication date (01)




Details about the available publication format: Bibliography


Publication date (01)




Details about the available publication format: Hardcover


ISBN-13 (15)