Evidentiality the Linguistic Coding of Epistemology Advances in Discourse Processes – Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. EVIDENTIALLY: The Linguistic Coding of Epistemology edited by Wallace Chafe University of California, Santa Barbara Johanna Nichols University of California. With the Future Behind Them: Convergent Evidence From Aymara Language and Gesture in the Crosslinguistic Comparison of Spatial Construals of Time.

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No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, rnicrofilming, recording, or otherwise, without permission linguisticc the publisher. Advances in discourse processes ; v. Grammar, Comparative and General.

The Heterogeneity of Evidentials in Makah 2. Friedman Evidentiality in the Balkans: Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Albanian m Contents iv Woodbury Interactions of Tense and Evidentiality: A Study of Sherpa and English Typologically Regular Asymmetries Freedle Series Editor This series of volumes provides a forum for the cross-fertilization of ideas from a diverse number of disciplines, all of which share a common interest in discourse— be it prose comprehension and recall, dialogue analysis, text grammar construction, computer simulation of natural language, cross-cultural comparisons of communicative competence, or other related topics.

The problems posed by multisentence contexts and the methods required to investigate them, while not always unique to discourse, are still sufficiently distinct as to benefit from the organized epistemoolgy of scientific interaction made possible by this series.

Scholars working in the discourse area from the perspective of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, ethnomethodology and the sociology of language, educational psychology e. Edited collections of original papers resulting from conferences will also be considered.

Volumes in the Series Vol. Discourse Production and Comprehension.

New Directions in Discourse Processing. Text, Discourse, and Process: Toward a Multidisciplinary Science of Tests. Robert de Beaugrande, Ethnography and Language in Educational Settings.

Latino Language and Communicative Behavior. Narrative, Literary and Face in Interethnic Communication. Linguistics and the Professions.

Spoken and Written Language: Exploring Orality and Literacy. Developmental Issues in Discourse. Toward a Science of Composition.

Systemic Perspectives on Discourse, Volume 1: Systemic Perspectives on Discourse, Volume 2: Structures and Procedures of Implicit Knowledge. Discourse ilnd Institutional Authority: Medicine, Education, and Law.

The Linguistic Coding of Epistemology. The Evidentialiyt of Literacy: Cognitive and Linguistic Analyses of Test Performance.

Catalog Record: Evidentiality : the linguistic coding of | Hathi Trust Digital Library

cocing Introduction This book is about human awareness that truth is relative, and particularly about the ways in which such awareness is expressed in language.

There are some things people are sure of, either because they have reliable evidence for them, or—probably more often—because they have unquestioning ocding that they are true. There are other things people are less sure of, and some things they think are only within the realm of possibility. Languages typically provide a repertoire of devices for conveying these various attitudes toward knowledge.

Often enough, speakers present things as unquestionably true; for example, ‘It’s raining.

Evidentiality: The Linguistic Coding of Epistemology (Advances in Discourse Processes) (v. 20)

The contributors to this volume have been concerned with the nature of such devices in one or in several languages. The data and analyses which they present can, for one thing, show us much about what we might regard as ‘natural epistemology’, the ways in which ordinary people, tje by philosophical traditions, naturally regard the source and reliability of their knowledge.

Simultaneously we can learn a great deal about an important ingredient of language itself, the ways in which languages agree and differ in their emphases, and in the kinds of devices they make available to their speakers.

As will be seen, it now covers much more than the marking of evidence per se. We do not wish, for the moment at least, to suggest what the boundaries of evidentiality in the broad sense are. Although evidentiality has been studied in individual languages, no one has at yet undertaken a comprehensive treatment of it. As a first step, in the spring of the editors of this volume organized a symposium in Berkeley at which the authors represented here, along with several other participants, met vii viii Introduction and discussed the state of the art.


So far as we know, it was the first conference ever assembled to compare evidentiality in a variety of languages and to explore such general questions as the areas of epistemology for which different languages provide evidential markings, the nature of such markings, and the ways in which they arise and spread.

This book contains revised versions of many of the papers that were presented at the symposium. It does not attempt to offer a single, unified approach to evidentiality, because we believe that the time is not yet ripe for such a treatment. We are necessarily in a stage of exploration, a stage where we should welcome relevant data of all kinds, and where we should also remain receptive to a variety of viewpoints and interpretations.

The heterogeneous perspectives of the authors in this volume offer a store of ideas from which, sooner or later, a more unified interpretation will, we can hope, be constructed. For now, the interested reader can find enjoyment in the discovery of a large range of evidential phenomena which are marked by a number of different languages in different places in the world, and in the range of linguistic devices which these languages use for such marking.

Much of the original interest in evidentiality was aroused by American Indian languages, and especially those of Northern California, where the marking of evidentiality through verb suffixes is widespread. One can easily believe, in fact, that the entire Western Hemisphere shows an unusual concern for the linguistic marking of epistemology.

We begin the volume, therefore, with eight papers focused on languages in various parts of North and South America. The first paper, by William Jacobsen, begins with a useful summary of references that have been made to evidentiality in the earlier published literature on American Indian languages, and demonstrates the poor recognition which has been given to this category in standard surveys and textbooks of linguistics.

The bulk of his paper describes in detail the variety of evidential markers to be found in Makah, a Nootkan language spoken at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. He shows that the evidentials in this language are rich and varied, and that they do not constitute a homogeneous morphological class.

In contrast, the paper by Robert Oswalt on Kashaya, a Porno language spoken north of San Francisco, shows a language in which evidentials do form a morphologically coherent category.

As he remarks, the systems in Kashaya, Southern Porno, and Central Porno ‘rank among the most elaborated and discriminating of any in the world’. Both the Jacobsen and the Oswalt papers, then, describe a richness of evidential discriminations, but with structural heterogeneity in the first case and homogeneity in the second. Alice Schlichter’s paper deals with Wintu, another Northern California language, whose evidential properties were first pointed out by Dorothy Demetracopoulou Lee and later systematically described by Harvey Pitkin.

Wintu shows an evidential system whose complexity parallels that of Kashaya, but whose origins seem to have been quite recent. The origins of the Wintu eviden- Introduction IX tial suffixes are fairly transparent, and suggest that the idea of marking evidentially in this way was borrowed from neighboring languages. Schlichter also draws a parallel between tense deixis in European languages and evidential deixis in a language like Wintu. Kenneth Whistler describes evidentiality in Patwin, another Northern California language.

Patwin is closely related to Wintu, and thus provides an opportunity for historical comparison of evidentiality within a single language family. The Patwin system is less homogeneous than that of Wintu: Lynn Gordon takes us to the Maricopa language of Arizona, a member of the Yuman language family.

Maricopa has evidential markers which are not present in other Yuman languages, and Gordon explains how they were derived from independent verbs meaning ‘see’, ‘hear’, and ‘say’. The explanation leads us through various related complexities of Maricopa verb morphology and clause structure. She extends the range of evidential phenomena to include not only ‘evidence,’ but also precision, probability, and expectations, noting that the same markers may be used for several of these functions, and furthermore that there are shifts among these functions over time.


Evidentiality is expressed in the Northern Iroquoian languages partly through verb affixes, partly through lexical predicates meaning ‘think’, ‘say’, ‘be certain’, and the like, and partly through a rich collection of particles. Mithun shows how the affixes have been the most resistant to change and the particles the most volatile, with the lexical predicates occupying an intermediate degree of stability.

With Martha Hardman we shift our focus to South America and the Jaqi language family, consisting of three languages spoken in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. In these languages evidentiality is ‘pervasive and uncompromising; an integral part of the world view.

Hardman uses the term ‘data source marking’ as a substitute for ‘evidential’ in order to avoid the narrow implications of the ‘atter term. He then discusses the interaction between these evidential markers and a topic marker to produce what he calls the ‘information profile’ of a sentence, its progression from theme to rheme.

With Aksu and Slobin’s paper we leave the New World and its evidential exuberance to examine a single Turkish suffix whose basic function is to convey inference and hearsay. The authors examine its pragmatic extensions, historical origins, and development in child language, aiming at a psychological explanation of its use and development.

Evidentiality: The Linguistic Coding of Epistemology – Google Books

On the most general level, they find that it ‘represents intrusions epietemology consciousness from psychologically more distant, less directly apprehended worlds of thought and experience’. Victor Friedman takes us to the Balkans, where Bulgarian and Macedonian have often been said to possess a distinct set evicentiality verb forms which express reported, as opposed to directly experienced knowledge.

He presents evidence that the forms in question do not consistently have an evidential function, but that, rather, their evidentiahty is a product of their interaction with particular contexts in which they epkstemology.

Friedman also discusses the so-called admirative form of the Albanian verb, which expresses surprise, disbelief, and reportedness. Anthony Woodbury explores the interaction of an evidential category with tense in Sherpa, drawing conclusions about the relation of grammatical organization to speakers’ awareness of it.

Tense skews both the meaning and the distribution of evidential categories.

The pattern of intersection is based entirely on semantics, although native speakers’ reflections on it—and hence their comments regarding it—are based rather on form.

This observation is supported by a comparison of English and Sherpa evidentiahty, and an analysis of speakers’ English glosses and their comments on Sherpa forms. Scott DeLancey brings us to Tibetan, where a distinction is made on the basis of whether the speaker is talking about something novel, or about something already well integrated within his knowledge system.

He describes the interaction of this distinction with the category of volitionality, as well as with the more typical Tibetan marking of inference, and discusses the conceptual overlap which leads to the marking of all three with the same grammatical material.

Graham Thurgood describes evidentiahty in Akha, a language of the LoloBurmese family, where it is coded by several sets of sentence-final particles. Tracing their etymologies, he finds that, although functionally homogeneous and formally paradigmatic in the modern language, they stem from a variety of older sources, some of them as ancient as Proto-Tibeto-Burman.

Haruo Aoki presents various evidentials in Japanese, having a variety of grammatical manifestations. They cover three major areas of evidentiahty: He mentions the use Introduction xi of evidential to signal politeness, and discusses questions regarding the origin of Japanese evidentials, whether from native sources or as borrowings from Chinese. This dialect shows an evidential opposition of inferential vs. That a pidgin should choose to grammaticalize evidentiality in its sole inflectional opposition is of interest.

The particular meanings involved, and their interaction with tense and person, support generalizations offered by other authors in this volume.