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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter gives an overview of Uralic evidential systems: of the type A3 in Finnic, A2 in Mari and Permic, A1 and A2 in Ob-Ugric (with strong mirativization), of B3, C3, and higher types in Samoyedic, i.e. very different in different branches of the Uralic family. Due to this and to similarities in both semantic values and coding with their geographical neighbours, grammatical evidentiality cannot be considered an inherited feature of Uralic languages—but rather appeared due to areal diffusion and independent innovations with different sources, from past tenses to desubordination. Uralic evidentials are not used in commands and tend to be incompatible with non-indicative moods; they are rarely found in negative clauses and questions, in which case they are outside the scope of the negative/interrogative operator; i.e. the content of the clause is negated/questioned, not the information source.

Keywords: Uralic languages, Finnic, Mari, Permic, Ob-Ugric, Samoyedic, evidential systems, sources of evidentiality, language contact

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