Selected Publications

(in preparation) A diagnostic featural list for classification of varieties within Tangsa-Nocte

Published in North East Indian Linguistics Society 11, 2021

This paper presents a diagnostic check-list of features identified as representative of the branches of Tangsa-Nocte which may be used to better classify varieties within the larger Tangsa-Nocte group. The purpose for such classification is to assist in ongoing efforts by scholars of Tangsa-Nocte varieties to better understand the historical development of Tangsa-Nocte and its classification as a whole within Sal and Tibeto-Burman.

The Syntax of Intensifiers in Muishaung

Published in Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 43.1, 2020

The Tangsa-Nocte languages of the India/Myanmar border region employ a system of suffixes to modify descriptive words. These may be reduplicated under certain conditions, determined by the stress patterns of the larger utterance. Previously referred to as intensifiers (Morey, n.d.; van Dam 2018), these affixes modify their stems to cover a wide range of different meanings, with each stem having a limited and sometimes unique set of applicable modifiers. Such intensifiers are found throughout the Pangwa varieties of Tangsa-Nocte and occur with the majority of basic adjectives derived from monosyllabic verbal stems.

Mapping the Frontier: Correlating Representations of Tangsa-Nocte Villages in Early British Survey Maps with Modern GIS Data

Published in Anthropology Today: An International Peer Reviewed Neira Journal, 2019

“The article titled “Mapping the frontier: Correlating representations of Tangsa-Nocte villages in early British survey maps with modern GIS data” by Kellen Parker van Dam, is an attempt to study the old British records on the inhabitants in the Upper Patkai region who are categorized as Naga but are known in Arunachal Pradesh by different names like Tangsa, Nocte etc. The researcher’s purpose is to revisit the old mapping with the modern GIS data system so as to provide a more credible picture while at the same time reassert the identity, history and place of these communities.”

A cross-varietal description of modifiers of basic colour terms in Tangsa-Nocte

Published in North East Indian Linguistics 8, 2018

This paper introduces the lack of a written standard for the Wu dialects as the primary limiting factor in creating a standardised form of the language. Examples are given of past attempts starting with missionary efforts in the late 1800s all the way up to modern re-appropriations of existing graphemes.

Recommended citation: van Dam, Kellen Parker. 2018. A cross-varietal description of modifiers of basic colour terms in Tangsa-Nocte. North East Indian Linguistics (NEIL) 8, 47-64. Canberra, Australian National University: Asia-Pacific Linguistics Open Access. ISBN: 978-1-922185-41-9.

An Answer to Y.R. Chao’s Problem of Affricate Distributions in Wú

Published in LACUS Forum vol. XXXXI, Linguistic Association of Canada & the United States, 2015

This paper provides a solution to an apparent lack of discernable pattern for voiced fricative and affricate onsets within a specific class of words. It shows the current distribution to be the result of two competing sound shifts between affrication on the one hand and deaffrication on the other, providing a model for the lexical diffusion of the feature based in an historical context of human migration starting from the fall of the Northern Song.

Written Standardization as a Precursor to Diglossia: A Case Study of Wu

Published in LACUS Forum vol. XXXVI, Linguistic Association of Canada & the United States, 2010

This paper introduces the lack of a written standard for the Wu dialects as the primary limiting factor in creating a standardised form of the language. Examples are given of past attempts starting with missionary efforts in the late 1800s all the way up to modern re-appropriations of existing graphemes.