Factual vs. evidential? : The past tense forms of spoken Khalkha Mongolian
2015 (English)In: Empirical Approaches to Evidentiality / [ed] Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop, & Gijs Mulder, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015Chapter in book (Refereed)
The basic past tense suffixes in spoken Khalkha are ‑sɑ̆ŋ, -ɮɑ, -tʃe and the peripheral -w. The basic opposition is between established knowledge (‑sɑ̆ŋ) and non-established (mostly new) knowledge, which is then further differentiated into firsthand (-ɮɑ) and non-firsthand sources (‑tʃe). This adds the factor “time of acquisition” to “source of information.” However, vivid recollection and deferred realization allow for using ‑ɮɑ and -tʃe, respectively. Additionally, -ɮɑ is used to establish a fictive scenario in discourse. In the corpus, past ‑sɑ̆ŋ is thrice as frequent as past -ɮɑ and -tʃe combined and due to its opposition to the latter seems to acquire a connotation of factual, reliable information. In declaratives, ‑w accounts for just 0.7% of past tense uses. It is used for events that surprised the speaker in the past. In questions, -tʃe is used to ask the hearer to give an answer based on inference. In self-directed discourse, -ɮɑ is used by a speaker who tries to remember something she once knew, irrespective of whether this knowledge was acquired as firsthand knowledge or not.
All past markers have future uses. For an event for which the speaker has sensory or internal evidence (including when the speaker refers to her own intentions), -ɮɑ is fairly common. Clues as to whether a future or past interpretation hold are mostly syntactical, but stative aktionsart or the presence of the boundary-actualizing marker -tʃʰ- restrict the interpretation to the past. ‑ɮɑ can be used in questions about the future in which case the speaker seems to motivate her question on the basis of a presumption based on firsthand evidence. The morphological form of -ɮɑ in such contexts is different from the form used in past questions. ‑tʃe can be used when a future event is inferred, and ‑sɑ̆ŋ marks it as inevitable. Both are exceedingly rare in future contexts, so that they presumably only work in a salient future context. Future ‑w expresses preventive warnings.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015.
evidentiality, tense, Khalkha Mongolian
Research subject General Linguistics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106142DiVA: diva2:734898
The paper is under review and has passed the first of three rounds of review. The publication data "2015" is hypothetical, I lack any concrete information on that. The paper is not yet accompanied by a final abstract, so I posted the abstract included in my dissertation.2014-07-212014-07-212015-12-11