Interpersonal Evidentiality (IE):the Mandarin V-过 guo construction and other evidential functions of ‘shared knowledge’

Tantucci, Vittorio (2014) Interpersonal Evidentiality (IE):the Mandarin V-过 guo construction and other evidential functions of ‘shared knowledge’. In: Chronos 11th International Conference on Actionality, Tense, Aspect, Modality/Evidentiality, 2014-06-162014-07-18, Pisa (Scuola Normale Superiore).

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Interpersonal Evidentiality (IE): The Mandarin v-过 guo construction and other evidential functions of ‘shared knowledge’ This study is based on the recently established pragmatic and grammatical category of interpersonal evidentiality (IE) (Tantucci 2013). IE grounds the illocutionary force of a statement in a form of intersubjective knowledge shared by the SP/W and a 3rd party – i.e. other assumed member(s) of society – regardless of whatever the source of information is. Drawing on Nuyts’s (1992, 2001a,b, 2012) work on the evidential application of the notion of intersubjectivity (Traugott 1999, 2002, 2003, 2010, 2012; Nuyts 2001a, 2012; Verhagen 2005; Narrog 2010, 2012) this paper argues that the perfect v-过 guo evolved in Modern Mandarin into a new IE construction. I provide a targeted analysis on the grammaticalized status of IE in Spoken and Written Mandarin through a quantitative and qualitative corpus survey from the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) CALLHOME Mandarin Chinese Speech corpus, the Lancaster Corpus of Mandarin Chinese (LCMC) and the diachronic section of the Beijing University corpus (CLL). In (Tantucci 2013) it is suggested that v-过 guo in Mandarin has grammaticalized into a SP/W’s oriented IE construction from an older experiential perfect meaning, originally merely profiling the past experience of the syntactic subject (cf. Comrie 1976: 58; Li, Thomson & Thomson 1981; Dahl 1985: 141; Carey 1995; Yeh 1996; Dai 1996; Smith 1997; Wu 2003; Hedin & Dahl 2000; Xiao & McEnery 2004; Lin 2004; Lin 2006; Lin 2007; Chen 2008; Wu 2008). The present work is thus centered on the semasiological IE reanalysis of 过 guo towards the end of the 清 Qīng (1644-1911) and after the 民国 Min Guo period (1912-1949). As shown in (1a-b), the grammatical status of this construction is proved by the non-acceptability of the perfective 了 le in contexts referring to interpersonally shared knowledge such as the one below: (1) a. 地球 上 存在 过 恐龙。 dìqiú shàng cúnzài guo kǒnglóng earth on exist IE dinosaur ‘The earth was populated by dinosaurs.’ *b. 地球上 存在 了 恐龙 。 dìqiú shàng cúnzài le kǒnglóng earth on exist PF dinosaur ‘’. (Tantucci 2013: 225) IE can be seen as a proper typological category characterized by specifically grammaticalized items displaying similar features in many languages of the world: i.e. Turkic, Megleno Romanian, other Sinitic Languages, the Balkan group Iranian and neighbouring languages (cf. Lazard 1996, 1999, 2001; Guentchéva 1996, 2007; Chappell 2001, Smirnova 2012; Tantucci 2013). The theoretical implications of the establishment of IE as a typologically attested domain must lead us to redefine the primary semantics of evidentiality. The secondary claim of this paper is thus to reconsider evidentiality as a non-modal domain primarily marking different types of ‘acquired knowledge’ rather than ‘specific sources of information’. Evidential constructions encoding particular sources of evidence should be considered as a sub-class of the broader semantic scope of ‘acquired knowledge’ (AK). AK is here regarded as the primary pragmatic and semantic connotation of any type of evidential construction or strategy. (word count: 492) References Carey, Kathleen. 1995. Subjectification and the development of the English perfect. In D. Steinand & S. Wright (eds.), 83–102. Cambridge Cambridge University Press. Chappell, Hilary. 2001. A Typology of Evidential Markers in Sinitic Languages. In H. Chappell (ed.), Chinese grammar: synchronic and diachronic perspectives, 56–85. New York: Oxford University Press. Chen, Qian Rui. 2008. 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Chronos 11th International Conference on Actionality, Tense, Aspect, Modality/Evidentiality
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