Studies in Evidentiality

Studies in Evidentiality

by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, Pilar M. Valenzuela, Randy J. LaPolla, Willem J. de Reuse
     
 
In a number of languages, the speaker must specify the evidence for every statement whether seen, or heard, or inferred from indirect evidence, or learnt from someone else. This grammatical category, referring to information source, is called ‘evidentiality’. Evidentiality systems differ in how complex they are: some distinguish just two terms

Overview

In a number of languages, the speaker must specify the evidence for every statement whether seen, or heard, or inferred from indirect evidence, or learnt from someone else. This grammatical category, referring to information source, is called ‘evidentiality’. Evidentiality systems differ in how complex they are: some distinguish just two terms (eyewitness and noneyewitness, or reported and non-reported), while others have six (or even more) terms. Evidentiality is a category in its own right, and not a subtype of epistemic or some other modality, or of tense-aspect. The introductory chapter sets out cross-linguistic parameters for studying evidentiality. It is followed by twelve chapters which deal with typologically different languages from various parts of the world: Shipibo-Conibo, Jarawara, Tariana and Myky from South America; West Greenlandic Eskimo; Western Apache and Eastern Pomo from North America; Qiang (Tibeto-Burman); Yukaghir (Siberian isolate); Turkic languages; languages of the Balkans; and Abkhaz (Northwest Caucasian). The final chapter summarises some of the recurrent patterns.

Editorial Reviews

Elena Bashir
This book is a major publication in the rapidly expanding field of evidentiality studies. It will join the sequence of books like Chafe and Nichols (1986), Guentcheva (1996), and Johanson, L. and Utas, B. (2000) as an essential resource for linguists interested in evidentiality studies, and should certainly find itself on the shelves of university libraries. Its new contribution is that it attempts to introduce a typological framework within which the data from various languages can be fit. The individual chapters are rich in data and language-specific interpretive analysis. It is recommended without reservation.
Augustinus Gianto
Much can be learned from this volume about how and why languages grammaticalize evidentiality.
Winfried Boeder
The volume is a welcome contribution to the study of evidentiality, and it offers many new and important insights. Its wealth of information is made readily accessible both by the introduction (Chapter 1) and a very detailed index that follows the laudable tradition of the series.
Zygmunt Frajzyngier
The main value of the volume is that it enriches our knowledge of the means of coding the speaker's attitude toward the information provided, be it with respect to the sources of knowledge or to the reality of the event. Given the fact that the present volume contains mostly studies of different languages, it constitutes a most useful companion for scholars studying speakers' attitudes toward the sources of their knowledge and toward the propositions they produce.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588113443
Publisher:
Benjamins, John Publishing Company
Publication date:
01/01/2003
Series:
Typological Studies in Language Series
Pages:
364

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