Expletive agreement, evidentiality, and modality in Logooli

John Gluckman, Margit Bowler


We discuss and analyze two subject agreement markers in Logooli (Bantu, Kenya). We show that e- (class 9 subject agreement) and ga- (class 6 subject agreement) give rise to a variety of apparently evidential or modal meanings when they occur in constructions translated with "expletive" subjects. We propose a treatment of the Logooli data following Matthewson, et al. (2007)'s and Rullmann, et al. (2008)'s choice function analysis of modality and evidentiality in St'át'imcets, and extend their original proposal to account for novel data in Logooli. We show that these two morphemes occur only with verbs that introduce modal bases, and propose that they differ from one another in the size of the subset of possible worlds that their associated choice functions select from the modal base. This in turn results in different interpretations based on the size of the subset of worlds that they select, the speaker's ordering source, and the modal base provided by the verb.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v26i0.3935

Copyright (c) 2016 John Gluckman, Margit Bowler