Participant perspective as an inflectional category in Chibchan, Nambikwaran, and Mayan languages

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/07/2008
End date: 30/06/2010
Funding: 1356000 SEK


The proposed project investigates the grammaticalized expression of inter-subjectivity with special attention to Chibchan, Nambikwaran, and Mayan (Yukatekan) languages. Inter-subjectivity is a pragmatically motivated concept that relates to the speaker-addressee configuration of the speech situation. It minimally specifies the knowledge symmetries between the speaker and the addressee with regard to some information, i.e. it describes the indexical ground occupied by the speaker and the addressee in an act of reference. A previously performed investigation on time reference in Lakandon Maya suggests that the concept of inter-subjectivity could be regarded as a grammatical (inflectional) category alongside already established categories such as tense and mood. The preliminary label proposed for such a category is ´participant perspective´. The proposed investigation will use language materials in the form of grammatical descriptions and collections of texts that the author has collected himself, and other resources that the author has ensured access to on Chibchan and Nambikwaran languages. Hypotheses will be formed regarding the meaning and function of the attested forms pertaining to participant perspective by their distribution and use in analysed speech. The proposed project is a contribution to the field of pragmatics as well as to mainstream linguistic research. It is an effort to strengthen the view of language as a means of communication above all other considerations.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:37