Vol. 30:2 (2023) ► pp.183–208
Seeing and knowing
Direct evidentials revisited
The paper provides evidence against the claim that perceptual access is commonly encoded in direct evidentials. While visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory perception are conveyed by direct evidentials in contexts where such interpretations are appropriate, in others it is the speaker’s involvement, affectedness and established beliefs which are conveyed. These may be exclusive to the speaker or shared by the addressee. Instead of information source, it is argued that some direct evidentials encode the speaker’s epistemic authority regarding an event based on their primary relation to the event. Epistemic authority concerns the speaker’s rights over knowledge and is therefore a relational concept that captures some of the dynamics between speech act participants in terms of knowledge representation and attribution. Support for this argument comes from the diachronic development of direct evidentials, the effects of co-distribution between direct evidentials and person marking (egophoricity), and patterns of use. Data comes from the literature on evidentiality and frequently cited languages from Tucanoan and Quechuan languages that feature well-described, rich evidential systems.
- 2.Evidentials as source of information
- 3.Evidentials as stance
- 3.1A relational view of evidentiality
- 4.The grammaticalization of direct evidentials
- 4.1Direct evidentials as metaphors of perception
- 4.2The deictic origin of direct evidentials
- 5.Direct evidentials and egophoric marking
- 5.1The egophoric nature of direct evidentials
- 6.Discussion and summary
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