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The Semantics of Evidentials$
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Sarah E. Murray

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199681570.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

A semantic classification of evidentials

A semantic classification of evidentials

(p.9) 2 A semantic classification of evidentials
The Semantics of Evidentials

Sarah E. Murray

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 introduces an empirical classification of evidentials across languages. This chapter discusses semantic diagnostics from the literature, illustrating them with representative languages, and shows how Cheyenne fits into this classification. While there are several dimensions of variation, there are also striking crosslinguistic generalizations, with evidentials sharing a core set of properties. This points to the need for a unified analysis that can capture these shared properties, treating evidentials crosslinguistically as a natural semantic class, while being fine‐grained enough to account for the variation. Where evidentials differ across languages, Cheyenne patterns with certain languages on some diagnostics, but with different languages on others, providing further support for a unified theory.

Keywords:   empirical classification, semantic diagnostics, crosslinguistic generalization

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