A semantic account of mirative evidentials

Jessica Rett, Sarah Murray


Many if not all evidential languages have a mirative evidential: an indirect evidential that can, in some contexts, mark mirativity (the expression of speaker surprise) instead of indirect evidence. We address several questions posed by this systematic polysemy: What is the affinity between indirect evidence and speaker surprise? What conditions the two interpretations? And how do mirative evidentials relate to other mirative markers?
We propose a unified analysis of mirative evidentials where indirect evidentiality and mirativity involve a common epistemic component. A mirative interpretation requires a close temporal proximity between the speech event and the event of the speaker's learning the at-issue content.


evidentials, mirativity, exclamation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v23i0.2687