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“Mirativity” does not exist: ḥdug in “Lhasa” Tibetan and other suspects

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) '“Mirativity” does not exist: ḥdug in “Lhasa” Tibetan and other suspects.' Linguistic Typology, 16 (3). pp. 389-433.

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Abstract

Largely through the efforts of Scott DeLancey the grammatical category “mirative” has gained currency in linguistics. DeLancey bases his elaboration of this category on a misunderstanding of the semantics of h. dug in “Lhasa” Tibetan. Rather than showing “surprising information”, linguists working on Tibetan have long described ḥdug as a sensory evidential. Much of the evidence DeLancey and Aikhenvald present for mirativity in other languages is also susceptible to explanation in terms of sensory evidence or appears close to Lazard’s “mediative” (1999) or Johanson’s “indirective” (2000). Until an independent grammatical category for “new information” is described in a way which precludes analysis in terms of sensory evidence or other well established evidential categories, mirativity should be excluded from the descriptive arsenal of linguistic analysis.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: evidential, inflection, information structure, mirative, syntax, Tibetan
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 14300532
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1515/lity-2012-0016
Depositing User: Nathan Hill
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2013 10:15
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/14858

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