Edited by Stef Spronck, An Van linden, Caroline Gentens and María Sol Sansiñena
[Functions of Language 27:1] 2020
► pp. 7–28
Constructional effects of indirect evidential marking in Harakmbut
This article focuses on two types of constructional effects of indirect evidential marking in Harakmbut (isolate, Peru). Both types originate in a clash of interpretation: the use of indirect evidential marking indicates a shift of perspective away from the speaker (as if they did not witness the event, thus disclaiming epistemic authority), while the events referred to are in principle directly accessible to them. As the signalled shift is not fully realized in interpretation, the effects will be characterized as showing perspective persistence. The first type involves constructions with a first person agent, and indirect evidential marking is found to produce the interpretation that the speaker performed the action referred to unintentionally, finding out about the outcome of this action only later. Other types of non-volitional events – without pragmatic inference on the part of the speaker – are found not to carry indirect evidential marking; they use different linguistic means to signal non-volitionality. The second type involves constructions with impersonal predicates referring to the cycle of the sun, and the use of indirect evidential marking yields emphasis on the completion of the event referred to. It is proposed that both types of effects can be explained in terms of endpoint emphasis (cf. DeLancey 1985).