Article published in:Notes from the field on perspective-indexing constructions: Irregular shifts and perspective persistence
Edited by Stef Spronck, An Van linden, Caroline Gentens and María Sol Sansiñena
[Functions of Language 27:1] 2020
► pp. 29–54
Evidentials and their pivot in Tibetic and neighboring Himalayan languages
This paper focuses on a specific type of perspective-indexing constructions in Tibetic and neighboring languages, namely a type of verbal marker that is consistently construed from the perspective of the speaker in statements, the addressee in questions, and the source (= the original/reported speaker) in reported speech clauses. As these markers indicate how one obtained the information profiled in a sentence and may thus be viewed as a type of evidential, they cannot at the same time establish reference to any participant of the current speech act and thus by default reflect the perspective of the ‘informant’ of the respective sentence type. If we define the encountered distinctions in relation to a cause-effect vector in the sense of DeLancey (1986), these languages all contain what we may call an ‘insider’ marker indicating access to the entire vector including its causal origin and an ‘outsider’ marker indicating access only to its effect end. Whereas the insider markers typically occur when the informant is the subject and the outsider markers when s/he is not, the present paper discusses the different ways in which Tibetic and neighboring languages deviate from this basic pattern, and argues that these differences reflect the fact that the markers in the latter languages were only secondarily evidentialized in reported speech clauses, likely due to contact with Tibetic.
Published online: 15 April 2020
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