Workshop: Evidentiality 2.0: Integrating egophoricity, focusing on equipollent contrasts, and re-examining visual evidentials

Country: Switzerland

City: Bern

Abstr. due: 31.12.2020

Dates: 05.09.21 — 06.09.21

Area Of Sciences: Humanities;

Organizing comittee e-mail: marius.zemp AT isw.unibe.ch

Organizers: University of Bern

 


The project ''Evidentiality in time and space'' (Benjamin Brosig, Marius Zemp, Fernando Zúñiga) at the Institute of Linguistics of the University of Bern is organizing this workshop from 5-Sept-2021 to 6-Sept-2021 with the intention of bringing together researchers working on different evidentiality systems to address the status of egophoricity vis-a-vis evidentiality, the role of evidential oppositions, and the definition of visual evidentials.

Following Willet (1988) and Aikhenvald (2004, 2018), most accounts of evidentiality systems throughout the world exclude markers which are ''used when the speaker was the agent of the action reported'' because ''the source of evidence does not seem to be their primary meaning'' (Willet 1988: 91). However, these markers may still function as ''the linguistic means of indicating how the speaker obtained the information on which s/he bases an assertion'', i.e. to what Willet (1988: 55) identifies as the common thread in all previously expressed views on evidentiality. Accordingly, Willet’s exclusion of markers occurring with speaker subjects may have been unjustified, and we suggest re-including them, which would then essentially correspond to analyzing markers commonly called ''egophoric'' as evidentials (Tournadre 1991; Floyd et al. 2018).

The goal of the workshop is to discuss and develop this tentative typology by taking into consideration evidentiality systems from all regions of the world:
- Direct vs. indirect (past tense markers)
- Factual vs. immediate (existential copulas)
- High vs. low degree of personal involvement (equational copulas)
- Internal (conjunct) vs. external (disjunct) (different tenses in different languages)

The inclusion of egophorics as evidentials not only allows us to recognize several different types of such evidentials. It also reveals that what has been viewed as a characteristic of egophorics and conjunct-disjunct oppositions (Floyd et al. 2018: 2–6), namely that these markers anticipate the perspective of the addressee in a question and reflect the perspective of the source in a reported speech clause (i.e. of the ''informant''), characterizes all equipollent evidential contrasts found in the GHR (see Zemp 2020: 31–2). The findings of San Roque et al. (2017) suggest that this also applies to evidentials in other parts of the world.

We invite scholars to (re-)investigate evidential systems from all around the world and to clarify the meaning and role of each evidential (X) within these systems by seeking answers to questions such as the following:

- Is X defined against another (or even more than one) evidential?
- Does X have an inherent tense/aspect-value? If so, does it share this value with a contrasting construction (Y)? Is there any evidence that X and Y may have originally had different tense/aspect-values?
- If X occurs in questions and/or in reported speech, whose perspective does it reflect there?
- Does X predominantly occur when the informant is the subject, and exceptionally when s/he is not? Or does X predominantly occur when the informant is not the subject, and exceptionally when s/he is? Under what circumstances do these uses arise?
- Does X have cognates? If so, is it possible to diachronically account for how it may have developed?

Conference Web-Site: https://www.isw.unibe.ch/forschung/workshops/workshop_evidentiality_20/index_ger.html