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Evidentiality in gjâ-zym-byn

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Monday, August 15, 2005, 2:06
I've admired the evidentiality systems of languages like
Laadan, Ithkuil, and Qthyn|gai and thought for a while
about whether it would suit to add some kind of
evidentiality marking to gjâ-zym-byn.  It needs to be optional,
I think, to fit the spirit of the language (very few categories
are mandatorily marked for).   For a while I thought about
introducing a system of adverbial particles for different
modes of evidentiality, corresponding to the existing truth-value clitics
(yes, no, maybe-fact, maybe-plan, to-some-degree).
More recently I've thought of another, more extensible way:
add a suffix that can derive an evidentiality marker from any
root word.  Such derived evidentiality markers would
either go after the main verb (probably last in any sequence
of modifiers) or at the beginning of the sentence, like a temporal

[I'll go on using the ASCII orthography with digraphs
in emails here because most of the
characters I'm using in my website are not available in Latin-1.]

If I use {-poxm} as the evidentiality suffix, then:

bly-van      ku-poxm  pwiqm miq-i.
fall-V.STATE hear-EVD water TOP-at
It's raining (I hear it).

fiqm-cox-van        riqm-poxm  pq jqaxr-i.
healthy-OPP-V.STATE see-EVD    3  experiencer-at
He's sick (I saw him).

lju-poxm jeq'liq miq-i  fiqm-fwa     nxiqn-i.
read-EVD garlic  TOP-at healthy-CAUS CMT-at
(I read somewhere that) garlic is good for you.

tam-ram-poxm twax-cu         poq  miq-i  jxyn-fwa      henx nxiqn-i.
Tom-NAME-EVD sentence-system DEM3 TOP-at interest-CAUS not  CMT-at
(Tom tells me that) that book isn't very interesting.

Comments?  I think this can derive markers for many though maybe not all of the
evidentiality modes shown in the languages I mentioned above.  It's
less concise than the languages that use a single-phoneme affix or
fusional inflection or monosyllabic particles for evidentiality
(always at least two syllables, sometimes three or more), but still
more concise than the roundabout means for indicating evidentiality
previously available in the language.

Jim Henry
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