Chapter 1 provides an introduction to evidentiality, its expression across languages, and related notions, such as modality and (not‐)at‐issue content. Evidentiality is the encoding of source of information, which is grammatically marked in many languages. While every language could have a means of indicating source of information, of expressing evidentiality, not all languages have grammatical evidentials. Crosslinguistically, evidential systems can vary along several dimensions, including number of evidential distinctions, grammatical category, and whether or not evidentials are obligatory. This chapter lays out the background assumptions of the book as well as gives an overview of the literature and issues.
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