Publication Date

Spring 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Daniel Silverman


Lakher, Mara, morphosyntax, phonetics, phonology, Tibeto-Burman

Subject Areas

Language, Linguistics


This thesis presents a linguistic analysis of the Mara language, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in northwest Myanmar and in neighboring districts of India. Data has been gathered through interviews with a native speaker. The analysis includes a full phonetic segment inventory of the dialect and a phonological analysis of contrastive sounds and contextual variants. Sound files embedded in the document illustrate the phonetic system. Mara's distinctive phonetic features include the loss of word-final consonants, a set of voiceless sonorants, pre- and post- aspirated nasals, and lowered and unlowered vowel pairs. The morphosyntax of Mara pronominal words demonstrates a split-ergative case marking pattern. A deictic hierarchy of pronominal words accounts for variations in pronominal word presence and order.