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Aspect, evidentiality and tense in Mongolian: From Middle Mongol to Khalkha and Khorchin
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
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 [en]
Middle Mongolian, Mongolian, Khalkha, Khorchin, tense, evidentiality, aspect, complex predicates
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
General Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106174ISBN: 978-91-628-9124-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106174DiVA: diva2:735288
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
List of papers
1. The aspect-evidentiality system of Middle Mongol
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The aspect-evidentiality system of Middle Mongol
2014 (English)In: Ural-Altaic studies, ISSN 2079-1003, Vol. 13, no 2, 7-38 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper contains an analysis of aspect, tense and evidentiality in Middle Mongol. This language has a fairly complex aspectual system, consisting of mostly periphrastic constructions built up from converbal, participial and final suffixes, and two different stative copula verbs. These express progressivity, habituality, genericity, perfectivity, perfect and resultativity on the present and past tense level. Present progressivity and resultativity can both be expressed by two different constructions that differ by their aspectual scope and/or actional properties. The three past tense suffixes mark factual, firsthand and secondhand information. This evidential trichotomy is restricted to the perfective aspect, while all other aspectual past tense markers only receive firsthand or secondhand marking. No aspectual distinctions seem to be made in the future, though both the future participle and the resultative participle can form contrafactual constructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Moscow: Rossijskaja akademija nauk / Russian Academy of Sciences, 2014
Keyword
tense, aspect, evidentiality, Mongolian
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
General Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106126 (URN)
Available from: 2014-07-21 Created: 2014-07-21 Last updated: 2015-05-19Bibliographically approved
2. The tense-aspect system of Khorchin Mongolian
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The tense-aspect system of Khorchin Mongolian
2014 (English)In: On diversity and complexity of languages spoken in Europe and North and Central Asia / [ed] Pirkko Suihkonen, Lindsay J. Whaley, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2014, 1-66 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Khorchin, a Mongolian dialect spoken in eastern Inner Mongolia, has a tense-aspect system slightly simpler than Middle Mongol and considerably simpler than Central Mongolian dialects (Khalkha, Chakhar). While it can express the time stability of ongoing events with many nuances, present habitual and generic events are not distinguished. The existence of a present perfect category is doubtful, but in any case it doesn’t extend to the past as participle-copula-combinations are impossible. Evidentiality was lost in the central verbal system, but a non-obligatory quotative/hearsay marker exists. This article is an attempt to fit these phenomena into a coherent system of tense, aspect and related notions and to explore some of its diachronic implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2014
Series
Studies in language companion series, 164
Keyword
Khorchin, Mongolian, tense, aspect, evidentiality
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
General Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106128 (URN)10.1075/slcs.164.01bro (DOI)9789027259295 (ISBN)
Available from: 2014-07-21 Created: 2014-07-21 Last updated: 2016-01-14Bibliographically approved
3. Aspect and epistemic notions in the present tense system of Khalkha Mongolian
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aspect and epistemic notions in the present tense system of Khalkha Mongolian
2015 (English)In: Acta Linguistica Petropolitana, ISSN 2306-5737, Vol. XI, no 3, 46-127 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

In this paper, I will dicuss positive present tense forms in spoken Khalkha Mongolian. Khalkha is analyzed to have five non-finite aspect markers, the Progressive, Continuative, Habitual, Perfect, and Prospective. They mainly combine with the three suffixes ‑n, ‑aa and ‑dag. On its own, ‑n expresses an instantiated potential or neutral future and ‑aa combines epistemic possibility and resultativity. In combination with aspect markers, though, they express the evidential value of direct vs. indirect perception. As the resultant state of a perfect can be perceived directly, the division runs between direct sensual perception of the event and an event inferred from direct sensual perception vs. events that are concluded from assumptions, hearsay, and previous perception. The suffix ‑dag expresses habitual and generic semantics. It is most commonly used on its own, but can also take other aspect markers into its scope, e.g. expressing a habitually ongoing event. Next to its main use, it is even used to refer to mono-occasional events that diverge from what the speaker perceives as the normal course of events. In addition, absolute-final and other uses of the participle ‑h and final uses of the converb ‑aad are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
St. Petersburg: Rossijskaja akademija nauk / Russian Academy of Sciences, 2015
Keyword
aspect, evidentiality, Khalkha Mongolian
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
General Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106140 (URN)
Available from: 2014-07-21 Created: 2014-07-21 Last updated: 2016-01-07Bibliographically approved
4. Factual vs. evidential? The past tense forms of spoken Khalkha Mongolian
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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, 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
evidentiality, tense, Khalkha Mongolian
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
General Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106142 (URN)
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

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