[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] International Workshop on 'Evidentiality' in Tibetic languages and beyond – a closer look

B. Zeisler zeis at uni-tuebingen.de
Mon Jan 21 15:22:29 UTC 2019

**Apologies for cross-posting**

International workshop
'Evidentiality' in Tibetic languages and beyond – a closer look
16-17 February, University of Tübingen, Fürstenzimmer, Schloß Hohen-Tübingen

Evidentiality is commonly described as the marking of the source of 
information (firsthand vs. non-firsthand) or also as the discrimination 
between direct knowledge through sense perception, on the one hand, and 
indirect knowledge, namely inference and hearsay, on the other. The 
complex of indirect knowledge has also been addressed in the French 
literature with the term ‘médiative’.

The modern Tibetic languages are known to have developed a particular 
type of ‘evidential’ marking. The basic principles have been described 
for quite a few of the Tibetic languages, see here the recent volume 
Evidential Systems of Tibetan Languages, ed. by Lauren Gawne and Nathan 
W. Hill. (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 302, De 
Gruyter Mouton, 2017) as well as the earlier collection in Person and 
evidence in Himalayan languages, ed. by Balthasar Bickel. (Linguistics 
of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 23.1-2, 2000). One of the key features is the 
subjective involvement of the epistemic source or ‘ego’ (the speaker in 
statements and the addressee in questions) in the events reported. The 
‘system’ is thus also known under the key terms of ‘egophoricity’ and 
‘conjunct/disjunct’, both concepts often mistaken for a somewhat weird 
syntactic person category (ego vs. non-ego).

However, at a closer look, the ‘evidential system’ is far from being a 
‘frozen’ grammatical system, but is extremely flexible, allowing, in 
principle, all forms for all persons, albeit in different frequencies 
and for different motivations. It further does not only deal with the 
source of information (firsthand vs. second-hand/ hearsay) or the access 
channels (self-centred knowledge, perception, and inferences), but also 
or even predominantly with the subjective assessment of the situation 
and/or the socio-pragmatic situation.

In this workshop, we want to discuss the ‘unsystematic’ aspects of this 
‘system’. A closer look into the genesis of these systems (Zemp, Widmer) 
and into the hierarchical structure of the markers (Tournadre) may help 
to explain the idiosyncrasies. The subjective involvement of the 
epistemic source and the pragmatic restrictions in the speech situation 
may define the attitude or Stance the speaker is willing or allowed, and 
the addressee in questions is expected, to take (Sandman, Oisel, 
Zeisler). We will also look at languages at the periphery of the 
Tibeto-sphere, that is at languages that have been under the influence 
of Tibetic languages (Sandman, Widmer). The contrast with the closest 
‘evidential’ neighbours, the Iranian languages (Pezechki), with their 
mediative system will help to improve our understanding of the 
specificness of the Tibetic system.

As suitable for a workshop, there will be plenty time for the presenters 
to develop their arguments and for discussions.

Abstracts will be posted soon on our workshop site:

Researchers and students interested in this research area are invited to 
join the discussion.
Please contact the workshop organiser Bettina Zeisler (zeis [at] 
uni-tuebingen.de) when you want to join us.







/Introduction, /Bettina Zeisler, Universität Tübingen, DFG-Project 
Evidentiality, epistemic modality, and speaker attitude in Ladakhi - 
Modality and the interface for semantics, pragmatics, and grammar



The genesis of evidentiality in TibetanMarius ZempUniversität Bern






The evolution of epistemic categories in BunanManuel WidmerUniversität 






Evidential accessibility hierarchies.Nicolas Tournadre Université 
d'Aix-Marseille, Lacito/CNRS, Institut Universitaire de France; //






Evidential categories in Iranian languages: The core categories of 
inferential and hearsay.Homa Lessan PezechkiUniversité d'Aix-Marseille






Ego evidential -yek as a stance marker in Wutun: evidence from 
conversational dataErika SandmanHelsingin Yliopisto (University of 



Negociating the facts: interactional functions of factual evidential 
markers in Amdo-TibetanCamille SimonLacito/CNRS, Universität Heidelberg






Evidential Freaks in Lhasa Tibetan – Redefining Evidentiality in Tibetic 
LanguagesGuillaume OiselUniversidad Nacional Intercultural de la 
Amazonia, Peru






/Speaker Attitude (Stance) and other 'freaks' in the Ladakhi 
'evidential' system/Bettina Zeisler






Further discussion

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/tibeto-burman-linguistics/attachments/20190121/25ef86bf/attachment.htm>

More information about the Tibeto-burman-linguistics mailing list