Peggy Speas colloquium

Friday January 22, 2021
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Peggy Speas of the University of Massachusetts Amherst will present a colloquium.

Click to join the Zoom meeting. The passcode is 635410. (The meeting ID is 647 6334 5823.)

Time and Evidence in Matses and in General

Fleck (2007) characterizes the Panoan language Matses as having “one of the most intricate evidential systems ever described.” In this talk, I will compare this intricate system with the rather bare-bones evidential systems of languages like Korean and Bulgarian. Matses has at least nine distinct evidential morphemes, while Korean has just two. Although Fleck characterizes the Matses system as “typologically unique,” I will argue that it actually resembles the Korean and Bulgarian systems to a surprising extent. Recent analyses of evidentials in Korean and Bulgarian (among others) have proposed that the interpretation of evidentials crucially depends on the time at which the speaker detected the evidence. These analyses use this evidential time as a type of Reference Time (aka Topic Time) in a Reichenbach-style analysis. I will argue that applying such an analysis to Matses yields a very simple and elegant system, where the evidential system does not differ significantly from that of Korean.