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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the evidential and related catetgories of Tibetic languages, concentrating on the Lhasa variety. Tibetic languages show an unusual evidential system based on a three-way grammatical distinction among Factual or assumed knowledge, Egophoric or personal knowledge, and Evidential or contingent facts. Evidentiality per se, specifically the distinction between directly and indirectly acquired knowledge, is distinguished only for propositions of the third type. Some Tibetic languages such as Lhasa and Standard Tibetan further subdivide the Egophoric category and distinguish volitional and non-volitional Egophoric forms. All of these categories are matters of presentation, not objective fact; that is, a particular grammatical construction is chosen not in automatic response to an objective situation, but in order to convey a proposition to the addressee in a particular perspective.

Keywords: Tibetan, evidentiality, egophoricity, volitionality, inferential

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