The Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality

Front Cover
Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
Oxford University Press, Jan 18, 2018 - 720 pages
This volume offers a thorough, systematic, and crosslinguistic account of evidentiality, the linguistic encoding of the source of information on which a statement is based. In some languages, the speaker always has to specify this source - for example whether they saw the event, heard it, inferred it based on visual evidence or common sense, or was told about it by someone else. While not all languages have obligatory marking of this type, every language has ways of referring to information source and associated epistemological meanings. The continuum of epistemological expressions covers a range of devices from the lexical means in familiar European languages and in many languages of Aboriginal Australia to the highly grammaticalized systems in Amazonia or North America. In this handbook, experts from a variety of fields explore topics such as the relationship between evidentials and epistemic modality, contact-induced changes in evidential systems, the acquisition of evidentials, and formal semantic theories of evidentiality. The book also contains detailed case studies of evidentiality in language families across the world, including Algonquian, Korean, Nakh-Dagestanian, Nambikwara, Turkic, Uralic, and Uto-Aztecan.

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The framework
its expression scope and history
Part II Evidentiality in cognition communication and society
further issues and approaches
Part IV Evidentiality across the world
Author Index
Language Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2018)

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald is Distinguished Professor, Australian Laureate Fellow, and Director of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University. She is a major authority on languages of the Arawak family, from northern Amazonia, and has written grammars of Bare (1995) and Warekena (1998), plus A Grammar of Tariana, from Northwest Amazonia (CUP, 2003) and The Manambu language of East Sepik, Papua New Guinea (OUP, 2008; paperback 2010), in addition to essays on various typological and areal features of South American and Papuan languages and typological issues including evidentials, classifiers, and serial verbs. Her other recent publications with OUP include Imperatives and Commands (2010), Languages of the Amazon (2012; paperback 2015), The Art of Grammar (2014), and How Gender Shapes the World (2016).

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