Reported Evidentiality in Tibeto-Burman Languages
journal contributionposted on 09.02.2022, 06:20 authored by Lauren GawneLauren Gawne
Classifications of evidentiality all include at least one ‘reported’, ‘quotative’ or ‘hearsay’ category. This category is found in many language groups that are attested to have evidentiality, including the Tibeto-Burman family. Although attested, reported evidentiality is often under-described in both descriptive grammars of specific languages, and typologies of evidentiality across the family. This survey of reported evidentiality in the Tibeto-Burman family found mention of reported evidentiality in descriptions of 88 of 130 languages. While there are clear patterns with regards to the morphosyntactic features of reported evidentiality across these languages, there is a great deal of variation in the semantic features, including the number of reported evidential distinctions and the specificity of source. This survey demonstrates that reported evidentiality is complex and varied across languages, even within the same family, and outlines ways to improve future documentation and description.