[Lingtyp] Truth markers

Hannu Tommola hannu.tommola at tuni.fi
Thu Oct 21 19:12:36 UTC 2021


the same development is found in Finnish: tosin < tosi ‘true’.

Hannu Tommola

Lähettäjä: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> Puolesta Peter Arkadiev
Lähetetty: torstai 21. lokakuuta 2021 21.13
Vastaanottaja: Mira Ariel <mariel at tauex.tau.ac.il>; LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG
Aihe: Re: [Lingtyp] Truth markers

- ajrtallman@

Dear Mira, dear colleagues,

I don't remember if the development 'true' > 'however' has been mentioned in this discussion. There was a nice paper by Valentina Apresyan on the Russian "pravda" 'truth' in this respect, see https://publications.hse.ru/en/chapters/78449093

Best regards,


21.10.2021, 20:32, "Mira Ariel" <mariel at tauex.tau.ac.il<mailto:mariel at tauex.tau.ac.il>>:

Thanks, everyone!

We know of the truth> intensifier evolution. I just had a paper on that in Studies in Lg  (Bardenstein and Ariel).

We argue there that you don't actually have a truth marker evolving directly to an intensifier, but rather, through an intermediate stage of what we call 'counter-loosening'. This seems to be the referential marking that Adam is talking about (by the way, reduplication as 'real' can be seen in 'salad salad').

And yes, 'true' is tricky to define. We take is as something like 'corresponding to the relevant state of affairs', our point being that for the most part speakers actually mobilize this marker for OTHER discourse purposes (unexpectedness, agreement and more).

What we're hoping to find is whether there is a typological study dedicated to truth markers out there. We'd like to know how prevalent it is in the world's languages.


From: Adam James Ross Tallman [mailto:ajrtallman at utexas.edu]
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2021 5:01 AM
To: LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG<mailto:LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG>; Mira Ariel <mariel at tauex.tau.ac.il<mailto:mariel at tauex.tau.ac.il>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Truth markers

Hey Mira,

Are you looking for referential modifiers or truth marking that scopes over predicates / whole propositions?

For nouns / referential expressions in Chacobo

"veridative" is marked through reduplication + -ria. For instance, honi 'man' vs. honi honi-ria 'real man' which could be used to emphasize the man-like properties of a person. -ria is a 'simulative', that by itself marks that something is similar to N... I don't think nominal reduplication occurs outside of this context.

For propositions, the expression jabija [haβiha] 'true', is the closest I can think of. It is haβi 'custom, tradition, surely, obviously' with (probably) ha(a) 'yes'...

But what is the main semantic test for knowing that something is a 'truth marker'? There are surely overlapping contexts here, but what 'true' even means seems like a very complicated ethnographic question ...



On Thu, Oct 21, 2021 at 2:00 AM Mira Ariel <mariel at tauex.tau.ac.il<mailto:mariel at tauex.tau.ac.il>> wrote:


My student, Shirly Orr, and I are interested in truth markers, such as true, real, right.

Are they frequently attested in natural languages?

We're interested in etymological sources for them, as well as meanings they evolve to express.

Any leads on literature we can dig up?


Mira Ariel

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Adam J.R. Tallman

Post-doctoral Researcher

Friedrich Schiller Universität

Department of English Studies

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Peter Arkadiev, PhD Habil.
Institute of Slavic Studies
Russian Academy of Sciences
Leninsky prospekt 32-A 119334 Moscow
peterarkadiev at yandex.ru<mailto:peterarkadiev at yandex.ru>

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