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Egophoric and Epistemic Markers in Barbacoan Languages and Beyond


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Martine BRUIL

Cadre de l'étude et objectifs

The Barbacoan family is a group of five remotely related languages spoken in the south of Colombia and the north of Ecuador. The languages of this family possess sets of mutually exclusive verb suffixes that express epistemic and discourse functions such as egophoricity, counterassertion and request for confirmation. These concepts are often difficult to define semantically. The aim of this postdoc project is to analyze the semantic function of these markers, predominantly in the Northern-Barbacoan language Awapit. The analysis will be based on a corpus of recordings of different genres and elicitation data that will be gathered during various fieldwork trips. The main goal of this project is to develop a typology of epistemic markers and to provide theoretical insights into the semantic structure of these markers. Another goal is to develop a methodology for the study of epistemic markers that field linguists can use when they encounter these abstract functions. This is a postdoc project funded by ASLAN Labex, funded for two years (2016-2017).


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