Evidentiality in Contemporary Persian

Document Type : Research Paper

Author

Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Isfahan

Abstract

This paper aims at investigating evidentiality in contemporary Persian from a typological point of view. First the category of evidentiality and its types in the languages of the world is introduced. Gathering and analysing data of spoken and written form of this language as well as classic texts,  an attempt was made to see whether evidentiality exists in this language as a grammatical category or not. This study shows that in Persian like all languages of the world non-evidential categories like passive, perfect, complementations, etc.  acquire evidential extensions as evidential strategies. Moreover, some lexical means such as verbs of perception, cognition and saying and various adverbs may take an overtone of evidentiality. However, the most significant finding of this paper is that in contemporary Persian there is a kind of grammatical evidentiality expressed by means of a perfect progressive and a double perfect construction. These constructions are used to refer to non-first hand information.   Some evidence is provided showing  the grammaticalisation of these perfect constructions to express non-first hand information in contemporary Persian. Indeed, contemporary Persian has a restricted grammatical evidentiality stemming  from  perfect aspects.

Keywords


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Volume 5, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
September 2014
Pages 21-40
  • Receive Date: 11 January 2014
  • Revise Date: 31 January 2014
  • Accept Date: 27 August 2014
  • First Publish Date: 27 August 2014