Some remarks on the evidential nature of the Romanian presumptive
The Romanian <i>presumptive</i> verbal paradigm (aux + be + present/past participle) is puzzling in several respects: (i) it is the only modal/temporal/aspectual construct which allows the present participle; (ii) it can use any of the modal auxiliaries in the language, in order to assemble verbal forms which convey <i>indirect evidentiality</i>; (iii) with the past participle, indirect evidential meanings and other modal meanings create syncretism. A problem these characteristics pose is to understand the nature of indirect evidentiality, and its mapping to the morphology. This paper proposes a morpho-semantics analysis of the presumptive; the essential part of the account is that aspectual heads can be interpreted modally, in the domain of worlds (Iatridou 2000, Izvorski 1997). The specific semantics of the participles, as well as the contribution of <i>be</i> derive indirect evidentiality, defined as speaker’s non-awareness of the eventuality itself.