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13 November 2014, Crosslinguistic semantics (XLSX) colloquium, Natasha Koroktova (UCLA)

Speaker: Natasha Koroktova (UCLA)
Title: Varieties of evidential shift
Date: Thursday 13 November 2014
Time: 16:00-17:30
Location: Room A2.01, OMHP, Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam

Abstract:

In root declarative clauses, evidentials (e.g. allegedly, reportedly) are oriented towards the speaker. Elsewhere, they may shift, i.e. become oriented towards some other individual. In this talk, I examine cross-linguistic patterns of evidential shift in two environments: (i) attitudinal complements, where evidentials may shift from the speaker to the attitude holder, and (ii) questions, where evidentials become oriented towards the addressee. By putting evidentials against a larger array of shiftable phenomena (expressives, modals, predicates of taste, discourse adverbials, shifted indexicals), I argue that in the two environments, evidential shift is triggered by different factors. Under attitude predicates, evidential shift exhibits similar cross-linguistic variation and is subject to the same syntactic restrictions as indexical shift. In contrast to that, the pattern found in questions is uniform across languages and is in fact observed for all other shiftable elements except indexicals. I argue that in this case shifted readings are due to the semantics and pragmatics of questions rather than to evidentials themselves. I also show that some constraints on the interpretation of evidentials, which are stipulated in the current theories, fall out once evidentials are treated as obligatorily `de se' expressions.

For more information, contact M. Aloni ()

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.