Evidentials are syntax-sensitive: The view from Bangla

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This paper studies an evidential in Bangla which changes its evidential flavor based on its syntactic position. Forging novel connections with the literature on finiteness, indexical shift, and complementizer agreement, this paper demonstrates how evidentials can be sensitive to the presence of syntactic heads that represent the point-of-view of an utterance. Three main claims are made: (i) evidentials always take finite clauses which are perspective-sensitive, (ii) this perspective-sensitivity is syntactic, i.e. it is the result of control by speech-act heads, (iii) coindexation or contraindexation among these perspectival heads can have very important effects on word order in evidential constructions. This paper thus offers a comprehensive syntactic profile of evidential particles, which have generally been investigated with regard to their semantic-pragmatic contribution, arguing that the structural configurations these elements appear in have undeniably crucial effects on the interpretative component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Evidentials
  • Finiteness
  • Indexical shift
  • Left periphery
  • Point-of-View
  • South Asian languages
  • Speech act projection
  • Syntactic perspective


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