Expressing Evidentiality in Lithuanian:
the case of neuter adjectives
Anna Ruskan
Vilnius University
29 August-1 September 2012
Outline
 Evidentiality and its expression in Lithuanian.
 Background research on adjectives functioning evidentially.
 CTP and parenthetical use of Lithuanian neuter adjectives in
fiction and academic discourse: quantitative findings.
 Evidential functions of the CTPs and parentheticals: sources
of evidence, (inter)subjective values and pragmatic
implications.
 From evidential to pragmatic functions.
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The Category of Evidentiality
Evidentiality  a functional-conceptual domain
indicating the speaker’s/writer’s sources of
information for a judgement. (Wiemer 2008; Boye &
Harder 2009)
 Types of evidence: direct/indirect
(Willett 1988; Plungian 2001; Aikhenvald 2004)
 Sources of evidence: self/other (Frawley 1992)
 Interaction of types and sources of evidence
(Squartini 2008)
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Indirect evidence: inferences
 “Observation-motivated” and “reasoning-motivated”
(Willett 1988; Plungian 2001; Aikhenvald 2004)
 Circumstantial, generic and conjectural inferences
(Squartini 2008)
 “Perceptual”
and
“Conceptual”
inferences
(Diewald and Smirnova 2010: 63)
“perceptual input”
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“internal reflection (cognition)”
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Indirect evidence: inferences
“(…) inferentials arise from the need to
assign causes to observed situations.”
(Willett 1988: 61)
“<…> inferential evidentials primarily denote
the speaker’s reflection of some evidence, i.
e. they indicate the relation between the
described situation and some other situation,
which is treated by the speaker as evidence
for the former.” (Diewald & Smirnova 2010: 63)
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Evidentiality in Lithuanian
 Morphological: participial constructions.
(Ambrazas 1977; Gronemeyer 1997; Lavine 2006; Wiemer
2006; Holvoet 2007)
LT: Čia vaiko miegota. (Wiemer 2006: 35)
EN: ‘(Obviously) the/a child has slept here.’
 Non-morphological: verbs of perception,
particles. (Usonienė 2001, 2003; Wiemer 2007, 2010)
LT: Matyti, kad jis namie. (Usonienė 2003: 211)
EN: ‘It is seen that he (is) at home.’
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Focus: Neuter Adjectives
akivaizdu ‘evident’, aišku ‘clear’,
panašu ‘similar, likely’, natūralu ‘natural’
 Complement-Taking-Predicates (CTPs), CTP + that S
LT: <…> palyginus šias sąvokas akivaizdu, kad jos nėra tapačios.
EN: ‘<…> having compared these concepts it is evident that they
are not identical.’
 Parentheticals (initial, medial, final position)
LT: Kalba, aišku, yra priemonė, lemianti žmonių tarpusavio bendravimą.
EN: ‘Language, clearly, is a means that shapes human
communication.’
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ty
Background research
 Epistemic/modal/evidential adjectives in
Germanic languages (Biber et al.1999; Nuyts 2001; MarínArrese 2007; 2009)
(inter)subjectivity - shared/non-shared
evidence/responsibility (Nuyts 2001: 33)
 Lithuanian
 CTP and parenthetical use of neuter adjectives
(Tekorienė 1990; Akelaitis 1992; 2011)
 Adverbialization (Smetona & Usonienė 2012)
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Aims
 To identify evidential functions of the neuter
adjectives akivaizdu ‘evident’, aišku ‘clear’, panašu
‘similar, likely’ and natūralu ‘natural’ used as CTPs
and parentheticals.
 To compare the evidential functions of the neuter
adjectives in fiction and academic discourse along
the parameters of the source of evidence,
(inter)subjectivity and pragmatic implications.
 To explore the loss of evidential functions and
acquisition of pragmatic functions.
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Methods and Data
 Corpus-based methodology
 The Corpus of the Contemporary Lithuanian Language:
the sub-corpus of fiction (about 7 million words;
http://www.vdu.lt)
 The Corpus of Academic Lithuanian
(CorALit: about 9 million words; http://www.coralit.lt/)
The sub-corpora:
B (biomedical sciences)
H (humanities)
S (social sciences)
P (physical sciences)
T (technological sciences)
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Frequency in the CCLL (Fiction)
and CorALit
CCLL (Fiction)
CorALit
Raw fr
56
f/1000
0.00
Raw fr
778
f/1000
0.09
2463
0.37
557
0.06
51
0.00
139
0.02
PANAŠU
166
0.02
54
0.01
‘likely’
Total
2736
0.39
1528
0.18
AKIVAIZDU
‘evident’
AIŠKU
‘clear’
NATŪRALU
‘natural’
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Frequency of CTPs and parentheticals:
CCLL (Fiction) and CorALit (Acad)
CTP + that S
AKIVAIZDU
Parentheticals
Fiction
f/1000
0.00
Acad
f/1000
0.08
Fiction
f/1000
0.00
Acad
f/1000
0.00
0.07
0.03
0.23
0.02
0.00
0.01
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.07
(20%)
0.12
(73%)
0. 23
(56%)
0.02
(13%)
‘evident’
AIŠKU
‘clear’
NATŪRALU
‘natural’
PANAŠU
‘likely’
Total
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Percentage of the parenthetical use:
initial, medial, final position
70
65
59
60
50
40
41
Initial %
Medial %
Final %
33
30
20
10
2
0
Fiction
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0
Academic discourse
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Functions of
CTPs and parentheticals
Evidential functions
“Perceptual” “Conceptual”
inference
inference
AKIVAIZDU
Pragmatic functions
Common
ground
Imposing
authority
+
+
-
+
Response;
emphasizer;
hedge
-
+
+
+
+
+
-
+
+
-
-
+
+
-
-
+
‘evident’
AIŠKU
‘clear’
NATŪRALU
‘natural’
PANAŠU
‘likely’
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“Perceptual” inferences
Fiction
LT: Kapitonas pirmas mane užšnekino, nuobodžiavo aišku.
EN: ‘The captain first spoke to me, he was bored
clearly.’
Academic discourse
LT: Iš kreivių aišku, jog tų bandinių <…> pH buvo didesnis.
EN: ‘From the graphs it is clear that in those samples
pH was more prominent.’
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“Conceptual” inferences
Fiction
LT: Nuo mažens man buvo akivaizdu, kad ne tiesa, o kažkas kita yra
literatūros alfa ir omega
EN: ‘Since childhood it has been evident to me that not truth
but something else is alpha and omega of literature.’
Academic discourse
LT: Analizuojant paskelbtąsias užsienio šalių tyrinėtojų publikacijas
akivaizdu, kad didesnė dalis tyrinėjimų skirta filtravimo algoritmams sukurti.
EN: ‘Studying the publications of foreign researchers it is evident that most
of the research is devoted to designing algorithms for filtering’.
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Strong argumentation:
reliable/valid evidence
LT: <…>Tiuringo mašina nekeičia juostoje įrašytų simbolių, nekeičia
mašinos būsenos <…> Akivaizdu, kad ši mašina nekeičia juostos turinio ir
niekada nesustoja. (Acad)
EN: ‘<…> Turing machine does not change the symbols written
on the tape, does not change the mode of the machine <…> It
is evident that this machine does not change the contents of
the tape and it never stops.’
LT: Kadangi <…> šiluminis efektas priklauso nuo temperatūros, tai savaime
aišku, kad ir šiluminės talpos turi priklausyti nuo temperatūros. (Acad)
EN: ‘Because <…> the heat effect depends on temperature, so
it is self-evident that heat capacity must also be dependent on
temperature.’
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Cautious argumentation: less
reliable/valid evidence
LT: Todėl ir liko neaišku, kiek garbės konsulų Stokholme turėjo Lietuva 1927–1940
m. – du, tris, keturis ar daugiau (skurdi šaltinių bazė apsunkina atsakymo
paieškas), o juo labiau kada baigiasi pirmasis ir prasideda antrasis Lietuvos
konsulatų Švedijoje funkcionavimo etapas –1931 ar 1933 metais? Panašu, kad
pirmasis garbės konsulatų steigimo etapas Švedijoje tęsėsi ne iki 1930 m. <…> o
gerokai ilgiau – iki 1933 metų.
EN: ‘Therefore it remains unclear how many honorary consuls of Lithuania
there were in Stockholm in 1922−1940 – two, three, four or more (the poor
database makes the search difficult), and especially when the first period
of the activities of the Lithuanian consulates in Sweden ended and the
second started – 1931 or 1933? It is likely that the first period of the
establishment of honorary consulates in Sweden did not last until 1930
<…> but much longer – until 1933.’
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Pragmatic functions:
response/reaction
LT: <…> kurgi buvote dingęs? - Niekur. Buvau tik kiek užsnūdęs. - Mat kaip!
<…> Užsnūdęs,aišku. (Fiction)
EN: ‘<…> where have you been? – Nowhere. I’ve taken a nap. –
Interesting! <…> You’ve taken a nap, I understand.’
LT: Namie, aišku , nieko neradai? (Fiction)
EN: ‘You did not, clearly/of course, find anyone home?’
LT: Ko reikia tau? <...> Na, kai ką nors skaitai?.. ” “Ne vien, aišku ,
malonumo!..” (Fiction)
EN: ‘What do you need? <...> When you’re reading
something?” “Not only, clearly/of course, pleasure!..” ’
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Pragmatic functions:
emphasizer, common ground
LT: Duris užtrenkiau, aišku , per garsiai <…> (Fiction)
EN: ‘I shut the door, clearly/of course, too loudly.’
LT: Argi jis nepažįsta žvirblio? Aišku, pažįsta <…> (Fiction)
EN: ‘Cannot he recognize a sparrow? Clearly/of course, he can
<…>.’
LT: Natūralu, jog vaikui ikimokyklinio amžiaus tarpsnyje
artimiausias sociumas yra šeima. (Acad)
EN: ‘It is natural that the closest social unit to a child in the
period of pre-school age is a family.’
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From evidential to pragmatic
markers
 In fiction: contexts of emotional speech
requiring emphasis and confirmation rather
than evidential grounding.
 In academic discourse: highly argumentative
contexts requiring no supporting evidence
(Aijmer 2008), appeal to common knowledge
(Hyland 2008) and dialogicality realizations (Martin
& White 2005).
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Concluding remarks: 1
 Evidential CTPs and parentheticals 
inferences
based
on
“perceptual”
and
“conceptual” sources of evidence.
 AKIVAIZDU ‘evident’ and PANAŠU ‘likely’ evidential in all contexts of use (CTPs). Not
prone to parenthetical use and restricted in
pragmatic functions.
 AIŠKU ‘clear’ – most frequent parenthetical that
displays an array of functions (from evidential to
pragmatic).
 NATŪRALU ‘natural’ – least evidential.
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Concluding remarks: 2
 Discourse differences:
Fiction  subjective inferences, emphasis.
Academic discourse  intersubjective inferences,
validation of research (Grossmann & Tutin 2010),
polemic with other points of view (Fløttum 2006),
hedging (Šinkūnienė 2012).
 Parentheticalization and loss of evidential functions.
Functional parallels with evidential adverbs in
Germanic and Romance languages (SimonVandenbergen & Aijmer 2007; Cornillie 2010).
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Evidential Adjectives in Lithuanian Academic Discourse