Evidentiality, Inferentiality, and Speakers' attitude

Author : Bettina Zeisler

Publication date : 2016

Questionnaire URL : http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/fakultaeten/philosophische-fakultaet/fachbereiche/aoi/indologie-vgl-religionswissenschaft/mitarbeiter/bettina-zeisler/publikationen.html

Bibliographical references :

Zeisler, Bettina. 2016. Evidentiality, inferentiality, and speaker’s attitude – questionnaire & examples – draft version – 12.06.2016


"The Tibetic languages [...] display a system that is evidently different from epistemic modality in the Standard European language. What this system exactly represents is another question. The questionnaire presented here is thought to faciliate answers to that question.
In many, if not all, Tibetic languages, the system is highly flexible. While we have a fairly good knowledge about the more common distribution of the various ‘evidential’ auxiliaries in the Tibetic languages, we have little knowledge about the more special usages that may deviate from, or even contradict, the ‘system’ derived from the common usages. This questionnaire is thus also an attempt to collect all special usages or the contexts that may give rise to it. This may serve to establish the different cut-off points in the different languages and dialects.[...] The questionnaire will present the contexts in which the standard and non-standard usages of the ‘evidential’ and evaluative auxiliaries and morphemes in question show up." (Zeisler, 2016: 1)

Protocol summary

This questionnaire is based on the author's data observed in Ladakhi. It is divided in 10 sections:
- the contexts for the use of the copula yin and its potential counterparts
- the contexts for the use of the existential linking verb yod and its counterparts
- the tense constructions based on auxiliaries (present tense and imperfect)
- present perfect
- prospective
- Habitual and generic situations
- past tense and future tense
- specific evaluative markers in Ladakhi
- quotation and/or second hand information
- pragmatic factors

Development context

It was developed by Bettina Zeisler, within the framework of the DFG project "Evidentiality, epistemic modality, and speaker attitude in Ladakhi -Modality and the interface for semantics, pragmatics, and grammar"

"This questionnaire has been developed primarily for the Tibetic languages, and is, in its initial stage, biased towards the Ladakhi dialects. In order to make it more universally applicable to Tibetic-type systems I should greatly welcome input from researchers around the world." (Zeisler, 2016: 1)


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