November 27, 2018

Guest speaker: Adam Roth Singerman (University of Chicago)

Our department is very pleased to welcome guest speaker Adam Roth Singerman, a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where he recently earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Linguistics. His research centers on morphosyntax and typology and Tuparí. On Friday, November 30 at 2:30 PM, in SS 560A he will be presenting "The synchrony and diachrony of Tuparí evidentiality".

Those Tupían languages described as possessing grammaticalized evidentality typically mark the category through freestanding particles located in a predicate peripheral or clause peripheral position (Moore 1984; Gabas Jr. 1999; Seki 2000; Galucio 2011). Tuparí, however, marks evidentiality throug a bound verbal suffix that sits inside of tense morphology and agrees in number with the subject. This suffix, -pnē/-psira, participates in a nuanced set of interactions with the language's set of second position clause typing particles. This talk draws upon original fieldwork to provide a detailed description and analysis of -pnē/-psira. I show that -pnē/-psira presupposes commitment to p on the part of the speaker. This analysis correctly predicts the incompatibility between -pnē/-psira and thoes clause types that express doubt or uncertainty, and it also accounts for how the witnessed/non-witnessed evidential contrast projects out of finite embedded clauses. This talk also puts forth a diachronic hypothesis concerning the origins of -pnē/-psira. A separate suffix, -psē/-pnē/-psira, qualifies as a resultative in the sense of Nedjalkov and Jaxontov (1988) and Nedjalkov (2001). Resultative -psē/-pnē/-psira is partially homophonous with evidential -pnē/-psira but the two morphemes differ from one another according to several syncrhonic diagnostics. I argue that resultative readings ('the pen is lying in a fallen position') were reinterpreted as non-firsthand declaratives ('the pen fell [non-witnessed]'). Tuparí thus instantiates the same resultative to evidential grammaticalization pathway which is known from Eurasia (Tatevosov 2001; Jalava 2014, 2017; Friedman 2018, among others) but which to my knowledge has not previously been described for an indigenous language of the Americas.

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