LINGUIST List 9.1445

Thu Oct 15 1998

Qs: Evidentials & logical operators, Adj. ordering

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  1. Martina Faller, Evidentials and logical operators
  2. Solovyev V.D., Adjective ordering

Message 1: Evidentials and logical operators

Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 08:36:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Martina Faller <fallercsli.stanford.edu>
Subject: Evidentials and logical operators

Dear Linguists,

We are interested in the semantic interactions of evidentiality
markers, i.e. grammatical elements which specify the source of
information as hearsay, witnessed, conjecture etc., and logical
operators such as negation, quantifiers, conjunction, disjunction,
tense and aspect.

The following are some examples of the kind of data we are interested
in (WIT stands for 'witnessed', HS for 'hearsay'; in different
languages these attach to different categories, in the English
paraphrases we simply attached them to the last element):

(1) Evidentials and quantifiers

a. All students left-WIT.

Can the quantifier scope over WIT? I.e. can this mean that all
students are such that the speaker witnessed their leaving possibly as
several leaving events?
Can WIT scope over the quantifier? I.e. can this mean that the speaker
saw all students leave in a single leaving event?

b. A whale was rescued-HS.

Can this mean that there is a particular whale of which the speaker
heard that it was rescued?
Can this mean that the speaker heard that some unspecified whale was
rescued?

(2) Evidentials and tense

a. The house burnt down-WIT.

Can this mean that the speaker witnessed the fire itself?
Can this mean that the speaker has evidence now, for example a pile of
ashes, for the house having burnt down?

(3) Evidentials and con-/disjunction
 
a. The child sang and danced-WIT.
 
Can this mean that the speaker witnessed both events at the same time?
Can this mean that there was one event of singing and one event of
dancing, and both were witnessed by the speaker?
Can this mean that the speaker witnessed only one of the events?

b. The child sang or danced-HS.

Can this mean that the speaker heard from one informant that the child
sang or danced?
Can this mean that the speaker heard from one informant that the child
sang, and from a different informant that the child danced?
Can this mean that the speaker heard from an informant that the child
sang and on a different occasion from the same informant that the
child danced?

(4) Evidentials and negation

a. The whale was not rescued-WIT.

Can this mean that the speaker did not witness the whale being
rescued, but that the whale was in fact rescued?
Can this mean that the speaker witnessed the non-rescueing of the whale? 

In the literature on evidentiality, we have so far only come across a
discussion on the interaction of evidentials with negation, Haan
(1997), who claims that evidentials always scope over negation, but we
have found no work concerning the interaction of evidentials and any
of the other logical operators.

We would be grateful for any pointers to existing research on these
issues. We also welcome judgments on the respective translations of
the above examples in languages that have grammatical evidentiality markers.

Reference:
Haan, Ferdinand 1997. The interaction of modality and negation. 
New York : Garland Pub.

Thank you very much in advance,

Jaap van der Does Martina Faller
ILLC		 Linguistics Department
University of Amsterdam Stanford University
(jvddoeswins.uva.nl) (fallercsli.stanford.edu)
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Message 2: Adjective ordering

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:04:34 +0300
From: Solovyev V.D. <solovyevtatincom.ru>
Subject: Adjective ordering

Dear Linguists,

I study the adjective ordering in NP. As known, in English the order is: 
evaluating - size - color. But in Russian the order is other:
size - evaluating - color. For example:
bol'shoy krasiviy krasniy miach
big nice red ball
What orders can appear in different languages?

Sincerely,

Venera Bayrasheva
Kazan State University
solovyevtatincom.ru 
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