Expressing intent, imminence and ire by attributing speech/thought in Mongolian

Brosig, Benjamin (2021). Expressing intent, imminence and ire by attributing speech/thought in Mongolian. Folia Linguistica, 55(2), pp. 433-483. Mouton de Gruyter 10.1515/flin-2021-2010

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Quoted clauses in which an intention is declared are cross-linguistically known to develop into clauses that directly ascribe an intention to their subjects, and further into clauses that express the imminence of an event. In Khalkha Mongolian, several quotative constructions based on the quotative verb ge- have come to ascribe intention and then developed further semantic extensions:
(i) The pattern -x ge-, featuring a fossilized Middle Mongol future-referring participial suffix, is used in a group of constructions that cover the semantic space between future time reference, intention (initially of the current speaker), and imminence.
(ii) Quotational clauses ending in a particular tense-aspect-evidentiality suffix (including -n) and subordinated by a linking converb ge-ž/ge-ed are often systematically ambiguous between quotation and their purposive, causal and concessive extensions. Noun phrases with similar properties additionally allow for (dedicational-)benefactive and (allocational-)functive uses.
(iii) The pattern -n ge-, which in other Central Mongolic varieties resembles -x ge-, conveys the speaker’s disbelief and anger about an actor’s willful deeds when used in echo questions marked by -n=AA.
Based on conversational corpus data, this paper tries to provide a comprehensive picture of Khalkha Mongolian constructions in which the speaker’s awareness of the subject’s speech or thoughts is reinterpreted as attributing intentions and their derived notions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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




Mouton de Gruyter


[UNSPECIFIED] Academia Sinica ; [18] European Research Council ; [4] Swiss National Science Foundation


[UNSPECIFIED] Evidentiality, authority and information status: Investigating constructional networks and grammaticalization paths of quotative indices in Central Mongolic
[UNSPECIFIED] Discourse reporting in African storytelling
[1515] Evidentiality in Time and Space Official URL




Benjamin Brosig

Date Deposited:

24 Sep 2021 15:18

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:53

Publisher DOI:





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