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Factual vs. evidential? The past tense forms of spoken Khalkha Mongolian
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6564-4451
2015 (English)In: Empirical Approaches to Evidentiality / [ed] Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop, Gijs Mulder, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

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
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015.
Keyword [en]
evidentiality, tense, Khalkha Mongolian
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
General Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106142DiVA: diva2:734898
Note

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.

Available from: 2014-07-21 Created: 2014-07-21 Last updated: 2017-12-01
In thesis
1. Aspect, evidentiality and tense in Mongolian: From Middle Mongol to Khalkha and Khorchin
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aspect, evidentiality and tense in Mongolian: From Middle Mongol to Khalkha and Khorchin
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis consists of an introduction and the following papers:

  • The aspect-evidentiality system of Middle Mongol. Ural-Altaic Studies, 13. (forthcoming)
  • The tense-aspect system of Khorchin Mongolian. In: Pirkko Suihkonen & Lindsay Whaley (eds.), Typology of Languages of Europe and Northern and Central Asia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (forthcoming)
  • Aspect and epistemic notions in the present tense system of Khalkha Mongolian. Acta Linguistica Petropolitana. (forthcoming)
  • Factual vs. evidential? - The past tense forms of spoken Khalkha Mongolian. In: Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop, & Gijs Mulder (eds.), Empirical Approaches to Evidentiality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (under review)

Its purpose is to give an account of tense, aspect and evidentiality in three Mongolian varieties: Middle Mongol (MM) as spoken in the Mongol Empire, Khalkha Mongolian as spoken in the Mongolian state, and Khorchin Mongolian as spoken in eastern Inner Mongolia, China. MM started out with a tripartite tense distinction and a medium-sized aspectual system. Its past evidential system was tripartite with suffixes for firsthand, non-firsthand and evidentially neutral information. In Khorchin, which developed under the influence of Mandarin and Manchu, evidentiality was lost, and tense was simplified into a past / non-past distinction, alongside with a discontinuous proximal future / past marker. The aspect system underwent some changes, but retained its complexity. Khalkha, which developed under the influence of Turkic and Tibetan, underwent some shared innovations with Khorchin, but retained participles as a multifunctional unit within finite predicates, so that its aspectual system grew more complex. The past evidentiality distinctions of MM were basically retained, but the introduction of present tense evidentiality brought a number of changes: the evidentially neutral value shifted to signaling assimilated knowledge, and discontinuous future uses were introduced for all past markers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University, 2014. 51 p.
Keyword
Middle Mongolian, Mongolian, Khalkha, Khorchin, tense, evidentiality, aspect, complex predicates
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
General Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106174 (URN)978-91-628-9124-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-17, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Accepted. Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 3: Accepted. Paper 4: Submitted.

 

Available from: 2014-09-25 Created: 2014-07-24 Last updated: 2014-08-05Bibliographically approved

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