When evidentials are not evidentials: The case of the Ecuadorian Siona reportative

  • 1 Chica Narváez #2-05 y Mejía, Ibarra 100103, Ecuador
Martine Bruil


The Ecuadorian Siona reportative is prima facie an evidential par excellence because it indicates that the information contained in the utterance has been acquired through hearsay. However, the morphosyntactic and semantic behavior of the reportative verb form demonstrates that it is not an evidential. Rather, it is part of the clause-typing system, together with the assertive, interrogative, and imperative. Clause-typing relates to the assignment of authority: the speaker holds the epistemic authority in assertions, the addressee in questions, and a non-speech-act participant in reports. The hearsay reading of the reportative clause type emanates from a shift of epistemic authority.

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Linguistic Typology publishes research on linguistic diversity and unity. It welcomes articles that report empirical findings about crosslinguistic variation, advance our understanding of the patterns of diversity, or refine typological methodology.