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Title: On the development of ‘say’ evidential markers in Japanese : a unified analysis of tte, datte and ndatte construction
Authors: Yap, FH 
Tamaji, M
Keywords: Japanese
Issue Date: Sep-2012
Source: Workshop on Epistemicity, Evidentiality and Attitude in Asian Languages: Typological, Diachronic and Discourse Perspectives, September 3-5, 2012, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong How to cite?
Abstract: Previous studies on tte have focused on its various functions, mostly from a functional discourse perspective. Miura (1974), for example, has identified tte as a quotative, complementizer and topic marker, and S. Suzuki (1999) has further identified tte as a pragmatic marker that also expresses speaker’s insistence or self-mockery, the latter often in a joking manner. In addition to these functions, R. Suzuki (2007) includes hearsay evidential marking as another function of tte. In this paper, we will focus on how tte evolved into an evidential marker, sometimes with extended functions as a counterexpectation marker. We will also examine the relationship between tte and other evidential markers, in particular datte and ndatte, both of which are also derived from quotatives, with datte being more emphatic and ndatte being more (inter)subjective than tte.
To better understand the morphosyntactic mechanism in the emergence of these and other evidential markers, particularly from a crosslinguistic perspective, we will further compare the grammaticalization of Japanese tte, datte, and ndatte with those of Korean evidentials tako, tamye/tamyense and tanun/tanta. A significant similarity between them is the vital role of the phonological elision of the ‘say’ morpheme in the emergence of each of these evidential markers. This phenomenon is consistent with a growing number of observations in grammaticalization studies (e.g. Ohori 1998; Higashiizumi 2006; Rhee 2011) that highlight the important role of ellipsis (both phonological and morphosyntactic) in the rise of many grammatical and pragmatic markers.
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