Evidentiality in ­Livonian Cover Image

Evidentiality in ­Livonian
Evidentiality in ­Livonian

Author(s): Karl Pajusalu, Helle Metslang, Petar Kehayov
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus
Keywords: Livonian; reported evidentiality; areality; oblique mood; jussive; nomen agentis

Summary/Abstract: The study focuses on dedicated grammatical evidentials and evidentiality strategies in the two main dialects of Livonian — Courland and Salaca Livonian. The analysis of Livonian evidentiality is based on a model originally proposed by Rätsep (1971) for Estonian, which posits two subsystems of reported evidentiality — the reported indicative (oblique mood) and the reported imperative (jussive). The study shows that evidentiality in Livonian — despite the intense and long-lasting contacts of this language with Latvian (resulting in heavy structural ­borrowing in many domains of grammar) and its close genetic relatedness to Estonian — manifests a rather unique configuration of structural features. The most striking of them is that the present tense forms of the Livonian reported indicative are expressed by means of agent nouns agreeing in number with the subject NP. It is argued that this type of evidentiality coding is typologically very rare.

  • Issue Year: XLVIII/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 41-54
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English