Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2666-4224
  • E-ISSN: 2666-4232



This article discusses how evidential and egophoric making is used to manage knowledge in interaction. To this end, it analyzes interactional data from Wutun (mixed Sinitic, Northwest China) and Upper Napo Kichwa (Quechuan, Ecuador). Wutun has an egophoric marking system, which, according to the definition of egophoricity, encodes involvement/lack of involvement in the described event. Upper Napo Kichwa has a set of evidentials, which, according to theory, encode the source of evidence for a given proposition. The two languages are typologically unrelated. However, when we look closely at how speakers of Wutun and Kichwa use epistemic markers, we discover functional similarities not predicted by the dominant definitions of epistemicity and evidentiality. In both languages, the use of the markers is conditioned by the interpersonal context of the interaction, and speakers use egophoric and evidential marking to signal their epistemic rights and responsibilities with respect to other speech-act participants.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Aikhenvald, A. Y.
    (2004) Evidentiality. Oxford: OUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. (Ed.) (2018) The Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality. vol.1. Oxford, New York: OUP. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198759515.013.2
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198759515.013.2 [Google Scholar]
  3. Aikhenvald, A. Y. & LaPolla, R. J.
    (2007) New perspectives on evidentials: A view from Tibeto-Burman. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area30 (2). 1–12.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Aikhenvald, A. Y. & Dixon, R. M. W.
    (Eds.) (2014) The Grammar of Knowledge: A Cross-Linguistic Typology. Explorations in Linguistic Typology 7. Oxford, New York: OUP. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701316.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701316.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bendix, E.
    (1992) The grammaticalization of responsibility and evidence: Interactional potential of evidential categories in Newari. InJ. H. Hill & J. T. Irvine (Eds.) Responsibility and Evidence in Oral Discourse (pp.226–247). Cambridge: CUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bergqvist, H.
    (2016) Complex epistemic perspective in Kogi (Arawako-Chibchan). International Journal of American Linguistics82(1), 1–34. 10.1086/684422
    https://doi.org/10.1086/684422 [Google Scholar]
  7. (2017) The role of ‘perspective’ in epistemic marking. Lingua186–187, 5–20. 10.1016/j.lingua.2015.02.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2015.02.008 [Google Scholar]
  8. Bergqvist, H. & Grzech, K.
    In Press. The role of pragmatics in the definition of evidentiality. STUF – Language Typology and Universals.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Bergqvist, H. & Kittilä, S.
    (2020) Evidentiality, egophoricity and engagement. Berlin: Language Science Press. 10.5281/ZENODO.3968344
    https://doi.org/10.5281/ZENODO.3968344 [Google Scholar]
  10. Bergqvist, H. & Knuchel, D.
    (2017) Complexity in egophoric marking: From agents to attitude holders. Open Linguistics3, 359–377. 10.1515/opli‑2017‑0018
    https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0018 [Google Scholar]
  11. Clift, R.
    (2006) Indexing stance: Reported speech as an interactional evidential. Journal of Sociolinguistics10(5), 569–595. 10.1111/j.1467‑9841.2006.00296.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2006.00296.x [Google Scholar]
  12. Cornillie, B.
    (2009) Evidentiality and epistemic modality: On the close relationship between two different categories. Functions of Language16 (1), 44–62. 10.1075/fol.16.1.04cor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.16.1.04cor [Google Scholar]
  13. Couper-Kuhlen, E. & Selting, M.
    (2017) Interactional Linguistics: An Introduction to Language in Social Interaction. Cambridge: CUP. 10.1017/9781139507318
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139507318 [Google Scholar]
  14. DeLancey, S.
    (2018) Evidentiality in Tibetic. InA. Y. Aikhenvald (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality Online. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198759515.013.27
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198759515.013.27 [Google Scholar]
  15. Dickinson, C.
    (2000) Mirativity in Tsafiki. Studies in Language24(2), 379–421. 10.1075/sl.24.2.06dic
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.24.2.06dic [Google Scholar]
  16. Dingemanse, M. & Floyd, S.
    (2014) Conversation across cultures. InN. J. Enfield, P. Kockelman & J. Sidnell (Eds). Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge: CUP. 10.1017/CBO9781139342872.021
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139342872.021 [Google Scholar]
  17. Dingemanse, M., Blythe, J., & Dirksmeyer, T.
    (2014) Formats for other-initiation of repair across languages: An exercise in pragmatic typology. Studies in Language38(1), 5–43. 10.1075/sl.38.1.01din
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.38.1.01din [Google Scholar]
  18. Faller, M. T.
    (2002) Semantics and Pragmatics of Evidentials in Cuzco Quechua. PhD Thesis. Stanford University.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Floyd, R.
    (1997) La estructura categorial de los evidenciales en el quechua wanka. Serie Lingüística Peruana 44. Lima: SIL International.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Floyd, S.
    (2018) Chapter 9. Egophoricity and argument structure in Cha’palaa. InS. Floyd, E. Norcliffe & L. San Roque (Eds.) Egophoricity. Typological Studies in Language 118 (pp.269–304). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.118.09flo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.118.09flo [Google Scholar]
  21. (2021) Conversation and Culture. Annual Review of Anthropology50(1), 219–240. 10.1146/annurev‑anthro‑101819‑110158
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-101819-110158 [Google Scholar]
  22. Floyd, S., Rossi, G., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Dingemanse, M., Kendrick, K. H., Zinken, J. & Enfield, N. J.
    (2018) Universals and cultural diversity in the expression of gratitude. Royal Society Open Science5(5), 180391. 10.1098/rsos.180391
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180391 [Google Scholar]
  23. Floyd, S., Rossi, G., Enfield, N. J., Kendrick, K. H., Blythe, J., Zinken, J., Baranova, J. & Dingemanse, M.
    (2020) Getting others to do things. Berlin: Language Science Press. CitetononCRdoi:10.5281/zenodo.4017493
    https://doi.org/Cite to nonCR doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4017493 [Google Scholar]
  24. Fried, R. W.
    (2018) Chapter 7. Egophoricity in Mangghuer: Insights from pragmatic uses of the subjective/objective distinction. InS. Floyd, E. Norcliffe & L. San Roque (Eds.), Egophoricity. Typological Studies in Language, vol.118 (pp.197–224). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.118.07fri
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.118.07fri [Google Scholar]
  25. Garrett, E. J.
    (2001) Evidentiality and Assertion in Tibetan. Ph.D. Thesis. Los Angeles: University of California.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Gipper, S.
    (2011) Evidentiality and Intersubjectivity in Yurakaré: an Interactional Account. PhD Thesis. Nijmegen: MPI.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. (2014) Intersubjective evidentials in Yurakaré: Evidence from conversational data and a first step toward a comparative perspective. Studies in Language38(4), 792–835. 10.1075/sl.38.4.05gip
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.38.4.05gip [Google Scholar]
  28. (2015) (Inter)subjectivity in interaction: Investigating (inter)subjective meanings in Yurakaré conversational data. STUF – Language Typology and Universals68(2), 211–232. 10.1515/stuf‑2015‑0011
    https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2015-0011 [Google Scholar]
  29. (2019) Conversational structure as evidence for regularity and variability in the use of epistemic markers: The case of Yurakaré. Presentation given at the52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Leipzig.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Grzech, K.
    (2016) Discourse enclitics in Tena Kichwa: A corpus-based account of information structure and epistemic meaning. PhD Thesis. SOAS, University of London. https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/24336/ (access01/02/2022).
    [Google Scholar]
  31. (2017b) Autoridad epistémica y atenuación en Tena Kichwa: Análisis de enclítico =cha basado en el corpus. Normas7(2), 48–71. 10.7203/Normas.v7i2.11167
    https://doi.org/10.7203/Normas.v7i2.11167 [Google Scholar]
  32. (2020a) Managing Common Ground with epistemic marking: ‘Evidential’ markers in Upper Napo Kichwa and their functions in interaction. Journal of Pragmatics168, 81–97. 10.1016/j.pragma.2020.05.013
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2020.05.013 [Google Scholar]
  33. (2020b) Upper Napo Kichwa: a documentation of linguistic and cultural practices. London: SOAS. Http://hdl.handle.net/2196/00-0000-0000-000C-F5FB-A. SOAS, University of London, Endangered Languages Archive (15 December, 2020).
    [Google Scholar]
  34. (2020c) Epistemic primacy, Common Ground management and the epistemic perspective domain. InH. Bergqvist & S. Kittilä (Eds.), Evidentiality, egophoricity and engagement. Studies in Diversity Linguistics 99 (pp.23–60). Berlin: Language Science Press. CitetononCRdoi:10.5281/zenodo.3975797
    https://doi.org/Cite to nonCR doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3975797 [Google Scholar]
  35. (2021) Using discourse markers to negotiate epistemic stance: A view from situated language use. Journal of Pragmatics177, 208–223. 10.1016/j.pragma.2021.02.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.02.003 [Google Scholar]
  36. Hale, A.
    (1980) Person markers: Finite conjunct and disjunct verb forms in Newari. InR. L. Trail (Ed.) Papers in Southeast Asian Linguistics7. Pacific Linguistics Series A, 53. Canberra: Australian National University, 95–106.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Haspelmath, M.
    (2010) Comparative concepts and descriptive categories in cross-linguistic studies. Language86, 663–687. 10.1353/lan.2010.0021
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2010.0021 [Google Scholar]
  38. Hayano, K.
    (2011) Claiming epistemic primacy: yo-marked assessments in Japanese. InT. Stivers, L. Mondada & J. Steensig (Eds.). The Morality of Knowledge in Conversation (pp.58–81). Cambridge: CUP. 10.1017/CBO9780511921674.004
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511921674.004 [Google Scholar]
  39. Heritage, J.
    (1985) A change-of-state token and aspects of its sequential placement. InJ. M. Atkinson (Ed.), Structures of Social Action (pp.299–345). Cambridge: CUP. 10.1017/CBO9780511665868.020
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511665868.020 [Google Scholar]
  40. (2012a) The epistemic engine: Sequence organization and territories of knowledge. Research on Language and Social Interaction45. 10.1080/08351813.2012.646685
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.646685 [Google Scholar]
  41. Heritage, John
    (2012b) Epistemics in Action: Action Formation and Territories of Knowledge. Research on Language & Social Interaction45(1), 1–29. 10.1080/08351813.2012.646684
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.646684 [Google Scholar]
  42. Heritage, J. & Raymond, G.
    (2005) The Terms of Agreement: Indexing Epistemic Authority and Subordination in Talk-in-Interaction. Social Psychology Quarterly68(1), 15–38. 10.1177/019027250506800103
    https://doi.org/10.1177/019027250506800103 [Google Scholar]
  43. Hill, N. W. & Gawne, L.
    (2017) The contribution of Tibetan languages to the study of evidentiality. InN. W. Hill & L. Gawne (Eds.) Evidential Systems of Tibetan Languages. Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 302 (pp.1–37). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110473742‑001
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110473742-001 [Google Scholar]
  44. Hintz, D. J. & Hintz, D. M.
    (2017) The evidential category of mutual knowledge in Quechua. Lingua. Essays on Evidentiality186–187, 88–109. 10.1016/j.lingua.2014.07.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2014.07.014 [Google Scholar]
  45. INEC, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos
    INEC, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (2010) Censo Nacional: Población Y Economía. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos. www.ecuadorencifras.gob.ec/censo-de-poblacion-y-vivienda/. (Accessed4 November 2015).
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Janhunen, J.
    (2007) Typological interaction in the Qinghai linguistic complex. Studia Orientalia101, 85–103.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Kamio, A.
    (1997) Territory of Information. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.48
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.48 [Google Scholar]
  48. Kendrick, K. H., Brown, P., Dingemanse, M., Floyd, S., Gipper, S., Hayano, K., Hoey, E.
    (2020) Sequence organization: A universal infrastructure for social action. Journal of Pragmatics168, 119–138. 10.1016/j.pragma.2020.06.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2020.06.009 [Google Scholar]
  49. Loughnane, R.
    (2009) A Grammar of Oksapmin. PhD Thesis. University of Melbourne.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Michael, L. D.
    (2008) Nanti Evidential Practice: Language, Knowledge, and Social Action in an Amazonian Society. PhD Thesis. University of Texas, Austin.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. (2020) Rethinking the communicative functions of evidentiality: Event responsibility in Nanti (Arawakan) evidential practice. Cadernos de Etnolingüística8(1), 95–123.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Mithun, M.
    (1999) The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge: CUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Mushin, I.
    (2001) Evidentiality and epistemological stance: narrative retelling. Pragmatics & Beyond new ser. 87. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.87
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.87 [Google Scholar]
  54. (2013) Making knowledge visible in discourse: Implications for the study of linguistic evidentiality. Discourse Studies15(5), 627–645. 10.1177/1461445613501447
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445613501447 [Google Scholar]
  55. (2022) Editorial: Turn design and epistemic management in small communities. Journal of Pragmatics193, 21–26. 10.1016/j.pragma.2022.03.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2022.03.007 [Google Scholar]
  56. Nikolaeva, I.
    (2014) A Grammar of Tundra Nenets. Berlin, Boston: Mouton De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110320640
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110320640 [Google Scholar]
  57. Norcliffe, E.
    (2018) Egophoricity and evidentiality in Guambiano (Nam Trik). InS. Floyd, E. Norcliffe & L. San Roque (Eds.), Egophoricity. Typological Studies in Language 118 (pp.305–345). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.118.10nor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.118.10nor [Google Scholar]
  58. Nuckolls, J. B. & Michael, L. D.
    (Eds.) (2014) Evidentiality in interaction. John Benjamins Current Topics volume 63. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/bct.63
    https://doi.org/10.1075/bct.63 [Google Scholar]
  59. Oswalt, R. L.
    (1986) The evidential system of Kashaya. InW. L. Chafe & J. Nichols (Eds.), Evidentiality: The Linguistic Coding of Epistemology (pp.29–45). Norwood, N.J., Ablex.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Pomerantz, A.
    (1984) Agreeing and disagreeing with assessments: some features of preferred/dispreferred turn shapes. InJ. M. Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of Social Actions (pp.57–101). Cambridge: CUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Sacks, H.
    (1992) InG. Jefferson (Ed.). Lectures on conversation. Vol.2. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. San Roque, L.
    (2015) Using you to get to me – Addressee perspective and speaker stance in Duna evidential marking. Language Typology and Universals, 187–210. 10.1515/stuf‑2015‑0010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2015-0010 [Google Scholar]
  63. Sandman, E.
    (2016) A Grammar of Wutun. PhD Thesis. Helsinki: University of Helsinki.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. (2018) Chapter 6. Egophoricity in Wutun. InS. Floyd, E. Norcliffe & L. San Roque (Eds.) Egophoricity. Typological Studies in Language 118 (pp.173–196). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.118.06san
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.118.06san [Google Scholar]
  65. San Roque, L., Floyd, S. & Norcliffe, E.
    (2018) Egophoricity: An introduction. InS. Floyd, E. Norcliffe & L. San Roque (Eds.) Egophoricity. Typological Studies in Language 118 (pp.1–77). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.118.01san
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.118.01san [Google Scholar]
  66. San Roque, L. & Schieffelin, B.
    (2018) Chapter 14. Learning how to know: Egophoricity and the grammar of Kaluli (Bosavi, Trans New Guinea), with special reference to child language. InS. Floyd, E. Norcliffe & L. San Roque (Eds.), Typological Studies in Language, vol.118 (pp.437–471). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.118.14san
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.118.14san [Google Scholar]
  67. Schultze-Berndt, E.
    (2017) Shared vs. Primary Epistemic Authority in Jaminjung/Ngaliwurru. Open Linguistics3(1), 178–218. 10.1515/opli‑2017‑0010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0010 [Google Scholar]
  68. Slater, K. W.
    (2003) A Grammar of Mangghuer. London, New York: Routledge Curzon.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. (2021) Introduction: Language contact in the Amdo Sprachbund. Himalayan Linguistics, Special Issue20(3), 1–7. 10.5070/H920355370
    https://doi.org/10.5070/H920355370 [Google Scholar]
  70. Stivers, T., Enfield, N. J., Brown, P., Englert, Ch., Hayashi, M., Heinemann, T., Hoymann, G., Rossano, F., de Ruiter, J. P., Yoon, K.-E., Levinson, Stephen C.
    (2009) Universality and cultural specificity in turn-taking in conversation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science106, 10587–10592. 10.1073/pnas.0903616106
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0903616106 [Google Scholar]
  71. Stivers, T., Mondada, L. & Steensig, J.
    (Eds.) (2011a) The Morality of Knowledge in Conversation. Cambridge: CUP. 10.1017/CBO9780511921674
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511921674 [Google Scholar]
  72. (2011b) Knowledge, morality and affiliation in social interaction. InT. Stivers, L. Mondada & J. Steensig (Eds.), The Morality of Knowledge in Conversation (pp.3–24). Cambridge: CUP. 10.1017/CBO9780511921674.002
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511921674.002 [Google Scholar]
  73. Sun, J. T.-S.
    (1993) Evidentials in Amdo Tibetan. Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica63(4), 945–1001.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. (2018) Evidentials and person. InA. Y. Aikhenvald (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality (pp.47–64). Oxford: OUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Torero, A.
    (1964) Los dialectos quechuas. Anales Científicos de la Universidad Nacional Agraria, Lima, 446–78.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Tournadre, N.
    (2008) Arguments against the concept of ‘conjunct’/’disjunct’ in Tibetan. InB. Huber, M. Volkart, P. Widmer & P. Schwieger (Eds.), Chomolangma, Demawend und Kasbek: Festscrift für Roland Bielmeier zu seinem 65. Geburtstag (pp.281–308). Bonn: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  77. Tournadre, N. & LaPolla, R. J.
    (2014) Towards a new approach to evidentiality: issues and directions for research. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area37(2), 240–263. 10.1075/ltba.37.2.04tou
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ltba.37.2.04tou [Google Scholar]
  78. Widmer, M.
    (2017) The evolution of egophoricity and evidentiality in the Himalayas: The case of Bunan. Journal of Historical Linguistics7(1), 245–274. 10.1075/jhl.7.1‑2.10wid
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jhl.7.1-2.10wid [Google Scholar]
  79. Willett, T.
    (1988) A Cross-Linguistic Survey of the Grammaticization of Evidentiality. Studies in Language12(1), 51–97. 10.1075/sl.12.1.04wil
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.12.1.04wil [Google Scholar]
  80. Zeisler, B.
    (2018) Don’t believe in a paradigm that you haven’t manipulated yourself! – Evidentiality, speaker attitude, and admirativity in Ladakhi. Himalayan Linguistics17(1), 67–130. 10.5070/H917136797
    https://doi.org/10.5070/H917136797 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Conversation Analysis; epistemicity; Kichwa; stance; Wutun
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error