Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Evidentials in African languages range from systems that distinguish between firsthand and non-firsthand information to repertoires of evidential markers that express source of information, control over knowledge, reliability of inferred information, etc. Besides more ‘typical’ evidentials, there are also examples where evidential meanings are expressed via spatial deictic markers, discourse markers, and pronominal elements. This contribution provides an overview of evidentiality in a number of African languages and a case study of the pragmatics of these expressions. The chapter’s main argument is that evidential meanings can emerge ad hoc in specific sociolinguistic settings, where a number of factors translate into a need for clarity and unambiguity in phatic communication. To avoid misinterpretations, speakers make use of evidential markers, thereby reacting to social pressure. They also make reference to notions of agency, voice, and control over knowledge. This chapter focuses on individual languages of Nigeria (Jukun, Maaka) and South Sudan (Luwo).

Keywords: interjections, language ideology, pragmatics, African Frontier, logophoricity, evidential meaning, agency

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.