ProjectEveMAL – Evidentialität, epistemische Modalität und Sprecherhaltung im Ladakischen – Modalität und die…

Basic data

Evidentialität, epistemische Modalität und Sprecherhaltung im Ladakischen – Modalität und die Semantik-Pragmatik-Grammatik-Schnittstelle
01/02/2016 to 31/01/2019
Abstract / short description:
Ladakhi is a Tibetic language, spoken in North India (Jammu & Kashmir). The Tibetic languages and a few other Tibeto-Burman languages have a particular system of evidential marking through auxiliary verbs, which is not fully taken into account in the cross-linguistic discussion, most probably, because it is not yet fully analysed. Generally, one discriminates between direct and indirect sources of knowledge. The former consist of self-awareness with respect to one's own actions and the immediate or direct observation of situations of others. Statements concerning this domain automatically have a high truthvalue. Indirect knowledge consists of hearsay and inferences. Both may, but need not, go along with connotations of a decreased truthvalue. In the Tibetic languages, however, the main opposition is between situations the speaker can assert with authority and merely observed situations, for which the speaker cannot, does not want to, or is not allowed to assume authority. The system is highly flexible, and the choice of auxiliaries is pragmatically conditioned.

The project aims at the adequate description of the complex grammatical system of evidential and in the widest sense epistemic markers used in the Ladakhi dialects on the base of a qualitative and, as far as possible, quantitative investigation. In order to delimit dialect variation from individual language use, as many speakers from as many dialects as possible should be interviewed systematically. The project will contribute to research into the semantic, pragmatic, and grammatical interface in the domain of modality. It will lead to a more precise differentiation between evidentiality and epistemic modality, and will further establish speaker attitude (or stance) as an independent perspectivisation or profiling of statements. It will thus contribute to a better understanding of evidentiality and speaker attitude as grammatical categories as well as a better understanding of evidential and attitudinal strategies, that is, secondary usages of modal verbs and particles. At the same time, the project aims at the documentation of a, in the long run, endangered and until now not yet well-studied language.
Ladakische Dialekte

Involved staff


Department of Asian and Oriental Studies
Faculty of Humanities
Indian Studies
Department of Asian and Oriental Studies, Faculty of Humanities

Local organizational units

Indian Studies
Department of Asian and Oriental Studies
Faculty of Humanities


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

will be deleted permanently. This cannot be undone.