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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an overview of salient issues regarding the correlation between evidentiality and person. A synthesis of research findings is provided and illustrated by empirical data. The person category relevant for evidentiality is shown to be the ‘speaking person’, which translates into various grammatical persons depending on the grammatical construction. The person-sensitive distribution of evidential forms is attributable to features like control, observability, and access to knowledge, and may be creatively manipulated along an evidential directness cline, such that an evidential value reserved for the speaking person may be employed to assert intimate knowledge about another person, and conversely, a reduced evidential value may be selected in self-reports to tone down first-person involvement, exhibiting ‘first-person effects’. Also elucidated herein is how the addressee’s perspective, another critical person factor in evidentiality, shapes evidential formation and selection.

Keywords: speaking person, grammatical person, evidential directness cline, first-person effects, addressee’s perspective

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