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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a comprehensive overview of evidentiality in the Tukanoan family of northwestern Amazonia. It begins with the organization of Eastern Tukanoan evidential systems, showing their place within a larger ‘clause modality’ paradigm and in the template of finite verbs. It then outlines the semantics of the four-to-five evidential categories typically found in these systems, considers their epistemic and mirative extensions, and discusses the coding of person and tense/aspect distinctions in the varied morphosyntactic realizations of evidentials as bound affixes or analytic constructions. The expression of evidential values in interrogatives, and observations on special cognitive contexts and speakers’ awareness of and attitudes towards evidentiality are then addressed. A final section discusses evidentiality in Western Tukanoan languages and its diachronic development as a defining feature within the Eastern branch.

Keywords: Amazonian languages, Tukanoan language family, obligatory evidential marking, evidentials in interrogatives, mirativity, evidentiality and epistemicity, diachronic development of evidentials

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