Tense, Aspect, Modality and Evidentiality: Cross-linguistic perspectives
After an introductory chapter that provides an overview to theoretical issues in tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality, this volume presents a variety of original contributions that are firmly empirically-grounded based on elicited or corpus data, while adopting different theoretical frameworks. Thus, some chapters rely on large diachronic corpora and provide new qualitative insight on the evolution of TAM systems through quantitative methods, while others carry out a collostructional analysis of past-tensed verbs using inferential statistics to explore the lexical grammar of verbs. A common goal is to uncover semantic regularities and variation in the TAM systems of the languages under study by taking a close look at context. Such a fine-grained approach contributes to our understanding of the TAM systems from a typological perspective. The focus on well-known Indo-European languages (e.g. French, German, English, Spanish) and also on less commonly studied languages (e.g. Hungarian, Estonian, Avar, Andi, Tagalog) provides a valuable cross-linguistic perspective.
This chapter deals with perfect forms of the verb in Avar and Andi, two East Caucasian languages. The presence of an ergative agent is shown to be an important parameter in distinguishing resultative constructions from resultative perfects in these languages. This distinction is relevant to determine whether current relevance meanings of the perfect are at all represented in these languages, alongside resultative proper and evidential usages. Based on elicitation as well as corpus data, this study shows that the Avar perfect represents a highly polysemic verb form that combines resultative proper, current relevance and indirect evidentiality, while its Andi counterpart shows a more advanced stage of grammaticalization of the indirect evidential meaning.
In the paper I consider the causative constructions in Russian. I examine the use of tense and aspect in constructions with the verbs zastavit’ / zastavljat’ ‘make’ and pozvolit’ / pozvoljat’ ‘let, allow’. I also include the verb delat’ / sdelat ‘make’ in my analysis, though this verb has special syntactic and semantic characteristics.
The striking feature of the causative constructions with eventive subjects is that the tensed forms and temporal adverbs in these constructions do not obligatorily refer to the causing situation. The tensed forms and adverbials sometimes refer only to the caused situation.
I assume that it is the nature of events vs. participants that is responsible for these distinctions. Each dynamic event is associated with some result. I have shown that in some cases what the tense of the causative verb and temporal adverbials refer to is the result of the causing event, and not the causing event in the narrow sense.
This book is a collection of articles dealing with various aspects of grammatical relations and argument structure in the languages of Europe and North and Central Asia (LENCA). Topics covered with respect to individual languages are: split-intransitivity (Basque), causativization (Agul), transitives and causatives (Korean and Japanese), aspectual domain and quantification (Finnish and Udmurt), head-marking principles (Athabaskan languages), and pragmatics (Eastern Khanty and Xibe). Typology of argument-structure properties of ‘give’ (LENCA), typology of agreement systems, asymmetry in argument structure, typology of the Amdo Sprachbund, spatial realtors (Northeastern Turkic), core argument patterns (languages of Northern California), and typology of grammatical relations (LENCA) are the topics of articles based on cross-linguistic data. The broad empirical sweep and the fine-tuned theoretical analysis highlight the central role of argument structure and grammatical relations with respect to a plethora of linguistic phenomena.
The volume includes proceedings of the 23th Scandianvian Conference of Linguistics (SCL 23) that was held at Uppsala University 1–3 October 2008. It includes studies covering a wide spectrum of approaches to linguistics, for example, cross-linguistic typological studies, linguistic variation and language change in contact situations as well as studies relating to bilingualism and to second and foreign language learning.
The paper considers the less known aspects in the functioning of Russian lexical “xeno” markers, in particular, of the particle jakoby ‘allegedly, ostensibly’. Traditionally described as expressing the falsity of a proposition contained in somebody’s utterance, in conjunction with a negative assessment of the utterer as aware of its falsity, jakoby displays very different usages in the language of contemporary mass media. Namely, it is frequently used as a mere marker of evidentiality, without an obligatory assessment of the proposition as false or of its source as untruthful. In fact, it can even be used to refer to statements that are treated as true within the very same text, only to indicate that the source of this information is not the writer herself but somebody else (e.g., a different news agency), in what might be termed as “safety” strategy. Besides, jakoby in its mass media usages demonstrates unusual syntactic behaviors, namely shifts in scope, where it is placed before the speech verb rather than before the challenged proposition: jakoby utverzhdat’, chto P ‘jakoby claim that P’ instead of utverzhdat’, chto jakoby P ‘claim that jakoby P’. However, the study of the Russian-English parallel corpus reveals that these usages are not as unusual as they may appear. In Russian translations of English texts jakoby sometimes functions as a translation of the English supposedly, allegedly, ostensibly or other (e.g., verbal) markers of uncertainty, but more frequently occurs with no apparent stimulus in the source, merely to mark indirect quotation. It appears therefore that there is a certain need in the Russian language for a neutral evidentiality marker. It is occasionally filled with jakoby, which in this case displays a tendency for grammaticalization: it expresses that the source of information is other than the speaker herself (but contains no other semantic components), and takes syntactic scope over the speech verb instead of the proposition it challenges.
In Standard Average European (SAE), addressees of speech verbs are marked with dative or, in languages lacking cases, with dative-like prepositions. This merger is commonly explained through a metaphor: the information transferred in a speech act is said to be construed as the object being transferred, or Theme, and the addressee as its Recipient. This status of the addressee as a derived concept, a metaphor of the Recipient, and its dative marking in many languages rather than in SAE alone, is the reason why the addressee is usually not considered to be a separate semantic role. Based on data from East Caucasian languages that use different marking for Recipients and addressees of speech, I argue that speech addressees constitute a separate semantic role, also an animate Goal, but not a metaphor of the Recipient. Focusing on case marking assigned by the main speech verb, speech acts are shown to be construed in East Caucasian as spatial configurations: the crucial component is their directedness towards the addressee. In the conclusion, I come back to SAE and question the status of the dative addressees. Taking into account that the dative often develops from lative markers, it is suggested that, in the languages with dative addressees, one should also consider an alternative to the conventional explanation: merging the Recipient and the addressee in one marking may result not from a metaphorical extension but from formal under-specification of two different animate Goals.
The article deals with the problem of the author as the subject of consciousness expressed through the text in its entirety. Special emphasis is laid on modality revealed in the author’s evaluation of events, characters and the world in general.
Within a brief historical period, BRICS as an inter-State association has become an influential player in the world economy and politics. BRICS is a primarily political entity, and in that regard, the BRICS grouping correlates with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). However, not all the expectations placed on the SCO by the founding countries at the time of its creation in 2001 have been met so far. The question is to what extent expectations may be fulfilled in case of BRICS.
The article identifies the effect of personalization of politics: its definition is given, the determinants and possible consequences are considered. That effect is illustrated by some features in the Asian and European style of modern political leadership.