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date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the origins of evidential marking, with a focus on the languages of the Eurasian continent. These languages display both transmission and diffusion. Moreover, a feature that diffuses from one system into another can then be elaborated by mechanisms of transmission, while a transmitted system can be affected by diffusion. With the exception of Turkic and Mongolic, historically centrally located in Eurasia, reconstructable evidential systems of the continent have relatively shallow time-depths and are not reconstructable for respective protolanguages. This also appears to be the case for some instances in Native America when reconstruction is possible. Reinterpreted past tenses, subordinate clauses, and nominalizations are major sources, reduced lexical items also occur, on rare occasions future marking, noun incorporation, and the reinterpretation of interrogative or emphatics is attested as relevant. Copying, calquing, and subsequent internal elaboration also play roles.

Keywords: transmission, diffusion, Eurasian continent, Turkic, Mongolic, copying, calquing, internal elaboration, Native America

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