An empirical investigation of the felicity conditions for the Japanese evidentials -rashii, -sooda, and -yooda

in International Review of Pragmatics
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This paper reports on the first detailed experimental investigation of the perception of the felicity of evidential markers in context. We investigated the Japanese evidentials -rashii, -sooda, and -yooda in various discourse environments by manipulating two key variables: (a) whether there was any conjecture required, and (b) whether the information source was accessible firsthand to the speaker. This work provides a baseline against which future studies of other discourse variables can be measured, and our results present some challenges to established conceptions. For example, -rashii was found to be compatible with reportative utterances, building on its traditional categorization as a conjectural evidential. We situate our findings with respect to the typological literature and contemplate how the results may inform semantico-pragmatic theories of evidentiality. We further propose a slight modification to McCready and Ogata (2007) to account for the felicity of bare propositions with indirect information sources.

An empirical investigation of the felicity conditions for the Japanese evidentials -rashii, -sooda, and -yooda

in International Review of Pragmatics

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In addition Aikhenvald (2004) has identified indirect evidentials that encode (a) that p is assumed given the context and (b) that p is quoted and attributed to a particular source.

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de Haan (2001) and Barnes (1984) actually use the labels flipped as ‘directness’ = whether the speaker had access to sensory information and ‘firsthandedness’ = whether the speaker had sensory information about the proposition itself. We believe these labels cause the parameter of directness to drastically diverge from the general consensus (Faller 2002; Murray 2010; inter alia) and have offered the simple solution of switching the labels.

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