Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
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Evidentiality is often defined as the grammatical means of expressing information source. This paper argues for a broader definition of evidentials, as close work documenting languages has shown that simply saying evidentials mark source of information does not capture all of the actual uses of evidential marking. The paper discusses other aspects that need to be taken account of in any full discussion of the use of evidential marking, in particular the speaker’s access to information (not just source), plus the subjective strategy or perspective of the speaker in representing a particular state of affairs. The notion of ‘source’ in this paper is used in a restricted sense to mean primarily a verbal source of information (reported information) and is distinguished from ‘access’, which refers to the non-verbal access to information (sensory, inferential, etc., including the sensory access to verbal source) available to the speaker, though marking of source and access may appear together. Given this distinction the paper proposes a new definition of evidential marking: the representation of source and access to information according to the speaker’s perspective and strategy.


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