Evidentiality in Deedmongol

Brosig, Benjamin (2021). Evidentiality in Deedmongol. In: Proceedings of the 15th Seoul International Altaistic Conference, 16-17 July 2021 (pp. 74-99). Seoul: Altaic Society of Korea

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Evidentiality in Deedmongol is spoken in different parts of Qinghai (Haixi, Henan) and Gansu (Subei). In the moribund dialect of Henan as described by Balogh (2017a: 52), an Amdo-Tibetan-style evidentiality sys-tem (cf. Sun 1993) has arisen that distinguishes between the speaker’s own actions and events committed by somebody else, which in the past are fur-ther divided into those that the speaker witnessed and those that she in-ferred (cf. (1)-(5)).
For Haixi as described by Oyunceceg (2009: 155-160, 163-164), there are the past tense forms -w & -ɑːdw (< -ɢad oduba) [“speaker satisfied”], -lɑː & -ɑːdlɑː [with witnessed or participatory examples] and -dtʃɑː (no sim-ple -dʒɑː) [“sudden realization of recent events”] which resemble the basic tripartite factual-direct-indirect opposition of other Oirat varieties (Goto 2009, Skribnik & Seesing 2014) and Middle Mongol (Brosig 2014) with the interference of the auxiliary od- ‘go there’ resembling Amdo Tibetan -tʰæ (cf. Zemp 2017: 622). The present progressive has -dʒiː (< -ju bu-i) [includ-ing non-participatory examples, cf. (6)] and -dʒæːn (< -ju bayi-na).
The role of factors like speaker control/certainty in Henan Oirat re-mains unclear, but due to its rapid decline (Balogh 2017b), a thorough in-vestigation is no longer feasible. For Haixi Oirat, it’s unclear whether it features a bipartite past-tense evidentiality system (direct-indirect regard-less of participation) with an evidentially neutral -w or a tripartite eviden-tiality system (participatory-direct-indirect). This presentation investigates this question using published materials (Oyunnasun n.d., Baɢatur 2016: 1242-1341) and own data (all of which are closer to Southern Standard Mongolian than Oyunceceg’s examples).

(1) Kiilik-εεn ʊγaa-jiγlaa. ‘I washed my shirt’ (speaker’s own action)
(2) Woroo or-jiku. ‘It rained /It was raining.’ (directly witnessed)
(3) Woroo or-jiγċəə. ‘It has rained /It has been raining’ (not witnessed)
(4) Wə kiilik-εεn ʊγaa-jii.‘I am washing my shirt’ (speaker’s own ac-tion)
(5) Ter kiilik-εεn ʊγaa-jεεn. ‘He is washing his shirt.’ (non-speaker actor)
(6) ʃiniŋ-d jɔwω-sen æmite-s dɔː lɑ̌ kyr-tʃiː. (Oyunceceg 2009: 163)
‘The people who went to Xining are returning only now.’

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Brosig, Benjamin


400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages


Altaic Society of Korea


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [UNSPECIFIED] Hong Kong Polytechnic University


[1515] Evidentiality in Time and Space Official URL
[UNSPECIFIED] The emergence of evidentiality in Deed Mongol in its areal context




Benjamin Brosig

Date Deposited:

24 Sep 2021 15:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:53





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