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An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

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Volume 53, Issue 3


Four types of evidentiality in the native languages of Brazil

Kees Hengeveld
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  • Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, University of Amsterdam, Spuistraat 210, 1012 VT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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/ Marize Mattos Dall’Aglio Hattnher
  • Departamento de Estudos Linguísticos e Literários, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rua Cristóvão Colombo 2265, 15054-000 São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
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Published Online: 2015-04-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2015-0010


In this paper we argue that the notions generally grouped together under the heading of evidentiality actually belong to four different evidential subcategories, which are different from one another in terms of their semantic scope. The hierarchical, scopal architecture of Functional Discourse Grammar is used to define these four categories. After giving our arguments for this new classification, we test a number of predictions that follow from it concerning the coexistence of evidential subcategories within a language and the co-occurrence of evidential markers in a single clause. We investigate our predictions in a sample of 64 native languages of Brazil. The data from these languages show that the presence of one or more of the four evidential subcategories can be systematically described in terms of an implicational hierarchy.

Keywords: evidentiality; event perception; deduction; inference; reportativity; Functional Discourse Grammar; native languages of Brazil

About the article

Published Online: 2015-04-29

Published in Print: 2015-05-01

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 53, Issue 3, Pages 479–524, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2015-0010.

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