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ven. 04/03/2016 Séminaire DTT - Atelier Morphosyntaxe - Epistemics

Scott DELANCEY: "Decomposing "evidentiality": Kinds vs. Sources of knowledge" The grammatical category of egophoricity has been discussed as part of a broad category of evidentiality. A close analysis of the verbal systems in Tibetic, where this phenomenon has been most studied, suggests a different approach. The Egophoric category expresses, not a source, but a type of knowledge. Tibetic languages formally distinguish three types of knowledge, assumed (or generic), personal (expressed by the Egophoric category) and contingent. True evidential distinctions can only be marked on statements of the third category. The same tripartite structure of types of knowledge can be identified in languages without grammaticalized evidentiality, for example in English, where lexical evidentials (It seems, I hear, etc.) and grammaticalized modals can be used with their ordinary meaning only with contingent statements. For example, evidentials or modals used with statements of personal knowledge such as I must have a headache, I hear I live in Paris, while formally “grammatical”, cannot be used or interpreted with the unmarked realis sense.

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ven. 04/03/2016 « L'’émergence d’unités morphologiques contrastives dans les paradigmes flexionnels kiranti (famille tibéto-birmane, Népal) »/ "The emergence of contrastive morphological units within inflectional paradigms in Kiranti (Tibeto-Burman, Nepal)"

This paper reexamines the structure of Kiranti verbal paradigms from a discriminative perspec- tive (Ramscar et al., 2013). Kiranti languages constitute a sub-branch of the Tibeto-Burman family and are mainly spoken in Eastern Nepal. The study focuses on two Kiranti languages, Khaling (Jacques et al., 2012) and Chatthare Limbu (Tumbahang, 2007). One of the main characteristics of Kiranti languages is that they are highly inflectional with very large verbal paradigms displaying complex patterns of stem allomorphy and form syncretisms spanning cells whose distribution does not follow homogeneous feature splits like person, number, or direct/inverse marking. The study focuses on the discriminative nature of the paradigms’ properties. This discriminative nature is reflected in both the exact distributions of regularities and form contrasts at full-form level and across corresponding parts of forms. We will show how the distributions in those paradigms implement a complex system of layered overlapping contrasts (prefix contrasts, stem contrasts, suffix contrasts) with partial regularities facilitating the learning of the system and high overall discriminability between verb-forms likely to appear in similar syntactic contexts, enhancing form processing. We compare the word-form structure exuberantly observable in Kiranti with previous findings on prefixing and suffixing preferences within work on discriminative approaches to morphology (Ramscar, 2013). As a result, this study will show how discriminative contrasts lead to the emergence of fundamentally discriminative morphological units whose interaction structures the overall inflectional system.



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