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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is the first attempt to explore how evidentiality is expressed in two neighbouring language families spoken in northwest Amazonia, Boran, and Witotoan. The evidentiality systems in Boran and Witotoan languages are not as complex as those found in languages spoken in vicinity of the Vaupés area to the north. Marking of evidentiality is more elaborate in Boran languages, with three choices available in Bora, while evidentiality distinctions in Witotoan languages are less expressive, with only two terms available in Murui. Although evidentiality choices can differ even within a single language family, a reported evidential is present in all Boran and Witotoan languages without exception. In addition to marking evidentiality, all languages show some type of optional marking that is related to expressing speaker’s certainty regarding an assertion.

Keywords: northwest Amazonia, Witotoan, Murui, Boran, Bora, evidentiality, reported evidential, marking of certainty

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