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Volume Editors: Chungmin Lee and Jinho Park
Evidentials and Modals offers an in-depth account of the meaning of grammatical elements representing evidentiality in connection to modality, focusing on theoretical/formal perspectives by eminent pioneers in the field and on recently discovered phenomena in Korean evidential markers by native scholars in particular. Evidentiality became a hot topic in semantics and pragmatics, trying to see what kind of evidential justification is provided by evidentials to support or be related to the ‘at-issue’ prejacent propositions. This book aims to provide a deeper understanding of such evidentiality in discourse contexts in a broad range of languages such as American Indian, Korean and Japanese, Turkish and African languages over the world. In addition, an introduction to the concept of evidentiality and theoretical perspectives and recent issues is also provided.

Abstract

This paper examines the Japanese word darou, which is often classified as a modal even though its quantificational force is difficult to determine (Johnson, 2003; Masuoka, 2007; Narrog, 2009). We argue that darou is best analyzed not as a modal, but as a manipulated form of an assertion marker (Fiengo, 2007) that operates on the pragmatic level in order to delay predication until the speaker receives feedback from the hearer. Since the speaker may have various reasons for delaying predication, which may or may not involve degree of certainty, darou eludes attempts to be assigned a quantificational force and eludes a modal analysis. Instead, darou creates a kind of speech act halfway between an assertion and a yes/no question.

In: Evidentials and Modals
Author: Thomas Willett

Abstract

Epistemic modality reflects the speaker’s degree of commitment to the truth of what he or she is saying. This involves both the reliability and the source of his or her knowledge about the situation described. Unlike many languages, all epistemic contrasts in Southeastern Tepehuan are encoded in the verbal particles.

Four types of reliability are distinguised in Southeastern Tepehuan: multiple degrees of emphasis as well as affirmation, disclaimer, and doubt. Three types of sources are distinguished: that which is perceived by the speaker; that which is reported to the speaker; and that which causes the speaker to infer the situation. Reported evidence is further distinguished by whether or not the speaker assumes the hearer already is aware of the situation.

In: Evidentials and Modals
Author: Lisa Matthewson

Abstract

This paper investigates the question of whether ‘direct’ evidentials are amenable to an analysis as epistemic modals. Much recent literature advances modal analyses of evidentials, but direct evidentials pose prima facie problems for a modal analysis. In particular, typical epistemic modals differ from direct evidentials in that the former disallow direct witness, and convey reduced speaker certainty. In this paper I examine evidential elements in St’át’imcets (a.k.a. Lillooet; Salish), Gitksan (Tsimshianic), Nuu-chah-nulth (Wakashan), Cuzco and Wanka Quechua, English, Nivacle (Matacoan-Mataguayan), Cheyenne (Algonquian), Korean, and Tibetan. Based on the data presented, I propose that evidential contributions are more complex than is often assumed. Specifically, there are three different dimensions of meaning which evidentials may encode: (1) Evidence type (whether the evidence is visual, sensory, reported, etc.), (2) Evidence location (whether the speaker witnessed the event itself or merely some of its results), and (3) Evidence strength (the trustworthiness/reliability of the evidence). Each of the three dimensions has direct and indirect values, and particular evidential morphemes may be semantically complex, encoding information about one, two or all three of the dimensions. I then argue that contrary to what we might expect, evidentials which encode direct values on any of the three dimensions are compatible with modal semantics.

In: Evidentials and Modals
Author: Jinho Park

Abstract

There are numerous verbal endings and periphrastic constructions in Korean which express modal meanings and contain evidential and/or mirative meaning components in addition. I present some representative cases of them, and discuss the status of these evidential and/or mirative meaning components in the semantic representation. In so doing, I want to show the usefulness of the concepts of evidentiality and mirativity in describing the differences among modal elements in Korean.

The first case to consider is the so-called exclamative endings -kwuna and -ney. These have mirativity as their core meaning components, but they differ in evidentiality. -kwuna does not constrain the source of information, whereas -ney cannot express information obtained through hearsay. Whether -ney can be used to express information obtained through inference is not so clear, as there is evidence for both positions. It is certain that ney- is more constrained than -kwuna in expressing inference. -kwuna brings the inferential process into relief, whereas -ney suggests an immediate response without so much thinking.

The second element to consider is the pre-final ending -te-. -te- expressed past imperfective in Middle Korean, but due to the emerging past element -ess-, -te- came to have more meaning components in addition to the tense meaning of past. -te- in the non-adnominal positions in Modern Korean expresses information obtained newly in the past. This meaning component can be described as mirativity in the past. In relation to evidentiality, -te- cannot express information obtained through hearsay, but can express information obtained through direct perceptual experience or speculation/introspection/reasoning.

The third case to consider is -keyss- and -ul kes-i-. Both of them can express future tense, intention or conjecture. Here I concentrate on the conjecture use. -keyss- expresses a conjecture from inference based on perceptual information, whereas -ul kes-i- expresses a conjecture from reasoning based on general knowledge/assumption. They differ in mirativity also. -keyss- tends to be used to express newly obtained information, whereas -ul kes-i- does not.

Various verbal endings and periphrastic constructions in addition to the above cases can be described using the concepts of evidentiality and mirativity.

In: Evidentials and Modals
Author: Mary Shin Kim

Abstract

Detailed examinations of moment-to-moment unfolding talk and actions in Korean conversations show that speakers shift and manipulate alternate evidential markers as interactional resources. Unlike languages with an obligatory evidentiality system, in Korean, speakers can choose to use an evidential marker to state their claims, and often shift their choice for the same proposition in the course of interaction. By shifting from zero evidential marking to overt evidential marking, Korean speakers objectify and distribute responsibility for their claims or negotiate their epistemic rights in reaction to the talk and actions of co-participants. The findings demonstrate that the ways speakers actually use evidential markers are not entirely determined by the source of information, but instead are shaped by the context and the actions of participants in moment-by-moment interaction.

In: Evidentials and Modals

Abstract

Reference to information source may be accomplished with a variety of means, including verbs referring to reports, claims, or opinions, adverbs, parentheticals, prepositional phrases or particles. In about one quarter of the world’s languages, marking information source is obligatory. These languages have a grammatical category of evidentiality. Other languages have evidential extensions of non-evidential categories—such as conditional in French. These ‘evidentiality strategies’ share the evidential meanings and often give rise to grammatical evidentials. The term ‘evidential’ primarily relates to information source as a closed grammatical system whose use is obligatory. The term ‘information source’ relates to the corresponding conceptual category. Expressions related to information source are heterogeneous and versatile, and may allow more detailed specification of various degrees of assumption, inference, opinion than do grammatical evidential systems, and often reliability, and speaker’s evaluation of information. The paper focuses on various aspects of expressing information source across the world’s languages.

In: Evidentials and Modals
In: Evidentials and Modals
Author: Robert Botne

Abstract

Evidentiality has been noted in only a few, disparate studies of African languages. This paper presents an overview of the kinds of evidential systems found in African languages, bringing together research done across a wide-spectrum of languages. The data suggest that evidential systems may very well be relatively rare in Africa.

In: Evidentials and Modals
Author: Jaemog Song

Abstract

This paper investigates evidentiality in Korean. Korean has four grammatical markers of evidentiality: Past Sensory -te-, Present Sensory -ney, Inferred -keyss-, Reported -tay. While indicating the speaker has firsthand sensory evidence, Korean Sensory evidentials imply mirative extensions of unexpectedness and surprise. This paper also observes ‘first person effect’ in Korean evidentials. Korean evidential markers, which do not normally occur with first person, can be used with first person to imply lack of control or intention. Korean allows multiple marking of evidentiality in the same clause. This paper examines their combinations and restrictions.

In: Evidentials and Modals