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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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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: Journal Article
Keywords: evidential, inflection, information structure, mirative, syntax, Tibetan
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 14300532
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2013 10:15

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