Abbas H J Sultan


Evidentials are those means by which any alleged fact

whose truth is investigated is established or disproved.

They indicate the source of evidence for the reality of

a proposition. Languages differ greatly with respect to

the sources of information they mark grammatically. In

general, there are three subtypes of evidentiality: direct

evidentiality, based on first-hand sensory evidence; indirect

evidentiality, based on second- and third-hand evidence;

and inferential evidentiality. The aim of this paper is to test

the truth-conditional content of evidentials in Shabaki. The

problem the paper will focus on concerns the interaction

between evidentials and conditionals, negation, anaphors,

tense and aspect. The corpus is based on the data

excerpted from everyday communication in Shabaki. This

language is classified as a modern Iranian northwest of

the Indo-Iranian family spoken at north-east and south


plateaus of Mosul, Iraq. The research questions

include: Can evidentials be semantically embedded under

conditionals and negation? How does evidential content

affect anaphoric relations? And, do evidentials block

Abbas H J





anaphora in a way similar to modals in the

absence of additional modal operators?

The paper argues that evidentials are

not a part of propositional (or at-issue)

content. They can neither be semantically

scoped under conditionals nor under

negation. Besides, they do not behave

like ordinary modals with respect to modal

subordination. Modal subordination refers

to the phenomenon of a modal being

interpreted semantically subordinate to a

modal in a preceding clause and it is best

illustrated by anaphoric dependencies. It

has been found that Shabaki can encode

the three principal types of evidentials.

Evidentials in Shabaki differ from modals

in terms of their semantic behavior

with respect to pronominal anaphors.

They block anaphora in the absence of

additional modal operators

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