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date: 24 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

While most languages spoken on the island of New Guinea lack grammatical evidentiality, attested evidentiality systems are diverse. These range from small systems with only one marked evidentiality category to systems in which five or more categories are marked. Minimal systems mark only reported, only non-firsthand, or only inferred evidentiality; maximal systems mark visual, non-visual sensory, inferred, reasoning, and factual/participatory or reported evidentiality. Most languages with well-developed grammatical evidentiality are found in a region of Papua New Guinea known as the Highlands Evidentiality Area. Several of these are noteworthy for marking timing of the perception event relative to the speech act.

Keywords: evidentiality, Papuan, languages, New Guinea, inferred, reported, tense, marking

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