Chapter published in:Evidence for Evidentiality
Edited by Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop and Gijs Mulder
[Human Cognitive Processing 61] 2018
► pp. 257–280
From similarity to evidentiality
Uncertain visual/perceptual evidentiality in Yurakaré and other languages
This chapter argues that the synchronic uses of the Yurakaré (isolate, central Bolivia) polyfunctional suffix ‑shi plausibly reflect a diachronic path of semantic extension, first from a derivational suffix expressing similarity to an uncertain visual/perceptual evidential, and from there to an inferential evidential. Evidence for this claim comes from the correlation of the properties of the synchronic uses with well-known tendencies of semantic change, and from a sociolinguistic analysis of the synchronic uses of ‑shi. A cross-linguistic comparison further shows that there are various other languages with a similar evidential marker. For some of these languages, similar paths of diachronic development are plausible.
Keywords: diachronic development, inferential, polyfunctional suffix, semantic change, synchronic use
Published online: 19 July 2018
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