Exploring Kogi epistemic marking in interactional elicitation tasks: A report from the field

Knuchel, Dominique Liza (22 August 2019). Exploring Kogi epistemic marking in interactional elicitation tasks: A report from the field (Unpublished). In: 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. Leipzig, Germany. 21.-24.08.2019.

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This paper details different elicitation tasks that have been conducted with speakers of Kogi, an indigenous language of Northern Colombia, and discusses them with regard to their suitability for investigating epistemic marking. The expression of epistemicity, more precisely the recently proposed category of ‘engagement’, can be considered a distinctive characteristic of Kogi grammar. ‘Engagement’ refers to the encoding of shared/non-shared access in terms of knowledge, expectation (i.e. epistemic access) or attention (i.e. perceptual access) to a discourse object on part of the speech act participants (Evans et al. 2018). In Kogi, engagement is manifested in a set of (ad)nominal demonstratives in the use of which shared attention of speaker and addressee towards a referent plays a crucial role (Knuchel, forthcoming). Moreover, engagement is encoded in the verbal domain in four auxiliary prefixes which express (a)symmetries between speech act participants in epistemic access to a state of affairs, and reflect two different parameters: epistemic authority (i.e. whose knowledge is targeted) and (non)- shared access (i.e. whether it is exclusive to one of the speech act participants, or shared by both) (Bergqvist 2016). In order to study the use of these forms, a number of interactional stimuli-based tasks were carried out in which epistemic/perceptual access to a referent or state of affairs can, to a certain degree, be determined by the task design, and which allow for the observation of the participants' attentional states. A matching game based on the ‘Shape Classifier Task’ (Seifart 2003) provided particularly revealing data about the use of a demonstrative associated with joint attention. Epistemic prefixes were observed in the Family Problems Picture Task, an interactional story-telling task (FPPT, San Roque et al. 2012), where the markers are frequently used in the enactment of conversations between characters. The talk discusses the employed methods and obtained data, and furthermore introduces a set of picture stimuli currently under development. These stimuli are inspired by parts of the FPPT and are designed to elicit enacted conversations between characters that are involved in situations with assumed shared or non-shared access to knowledge.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Knuchel, Dominique Liza


400 Language > 410 Linguistics




Dominique Liza Knuchel

Date Deposited:

05 Sep 2019 09:30

Last Modified:

21 Nov 2019 04:37





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