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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes evidentiality as it is expressed within the Nambikwara language family of west central Brazil, a loosely related affiliation of seventeen language communities living close to the Brazil-Bolivia border. This overview limits its scope to the four varieties where evidentiality has been documented (Mamaindê, Lakondê, Sabanê, and a generic variety of Southern Nambikwara). All four of these languages share several traits that could be considered characteristics of Nambikwara evidential systems. These are: a large set of evidentials (between four and eight); sets that include inferred and reported; forms that link evidentials and tense; and the use of ‘multiple perspective’ as a way of referencing the singular or plural nature of the ‘knower’. It is this latter trait that constitutes the most salient feature of evidentiality within the family as a whole, one that deserves further attention.

Keywords: evidentiality, Nambikwara, Mamaindê, Lakondê, Sabanê, Southern Nambikwara, general knowledge evidential, multiple perspective, individual perspective, dual perspective

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