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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Middle Mongol, first attested in the thirteenth century, exhibits three evidential markers that were restricted to the past tense: evidentially neutral -bA, direct -lUGA, and indirect -JUGU. Its modern successors show different systems which mostly pattern areally. The two most complex systems developed in Kalmyk (west) and Khalkha (central), where evidentiality spread to other tenses and is also expressed through semantically more specific analytic constructions. In several Southern and Central Mongolic varieties of Amdo (southwest), binary systems evolved under Amdo Tibetan influence; these distinguish between participatory and non-participatory evidence. Buryat, Khorchin, and Dagur (northeast) as well as Southern Mongolic varieties of Gansu (south) lack paradigmatic evidentiality, losing or reinterpreting the inherited evidential suffixes. Some evidential strategies evolved that cut across the Mongolic area, including structurally identical prospectives (Khalkha, Buryat, Khorchin) or the extension of ‘say’ to denote hearsay (Central and Southern Mongolic).

Keywords: Mongolic languages, Middle Mongolian, Khalkha, Buryat, Kalmyk, evidential systems, evidential strategies, language contact, egophoricity

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