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Evidentiality in Dutch, German, English and Spanish: Evidence from a Twitter corpus Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop, Gijs Mulder, Vera van Mulken.

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Presentation on theme: "Evidentiality in Dutch, German, English and Spanish: Evidence from a Twitter corpus Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop, Gijs Mulder, Vera van Mulken."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evidentiality in Dutch, German, English and Spanish: Evidence from a Twitter corpus Ad Foolen, Helen de Hoop, Gijs Mulder, Vera van Mulken


3 Evidentiality –Evidentiality expresses secondary information (Anderson 1986) –Primary information: proposition –Evidentiality: extra (secondary) information that the speaker provides about their source of information (their type of evidence for the proposition) –Grammaticalisation

4 Afrikaans Ekglo dathyryk is Ibelievethatherichis “I think that he is rich” Hyisglo ryk heisEVIDrich “He is said (supposed, believed) to be rich” Boye & Harder (2009)

5 Dutch evidentiality (inferential) –IkdenkdatJanziekis I thinkthatJanillis –Janisziek,denkik JanisillthinkI –Jan is denk ik ziek JanisthinkIill I think Jan is ill

6 think and believe We will focus on the evidential use of two verbs, think and believe, in Dutch, English, German, Spanish: denken, geloven denken, glauben think, believe pensar, creer

7 Dutch geloven ‘believe’ –IkgeloofdatJanziekis I believethatJanillis –Janisziek,geloofik JanisillbelieveI –Jan is geloof ik ziek JanisbelieveIill I believe Jan is ill

8 Dutch denken ‘think’ - PAST –IkdachtdatJanziekwas I thoughtthatJanillwas –Janisziek,dachtik JanisillthoughtI –Jan is dacht ik ziek JanisthoughtIill I thought Jan was ill

9 Dutch geloven ‘believe’ - PAST –IkgeloofdedatJanziekwas I believedthatJanillwas –#Janisziek,geloofdeik JanisillbelievedI –#Jan is geloofdeik ziek JanisbelieveIill I believed Jan was ill

10 Twitter Why Twitter? –Large, contemporary corpus of ‘spoken language in written form’ –Relevant for the study of evidential expressions (like ‘I think’ and ‘I believe’) Methodology

11 ik denk ‘I think’ (Twitter) –Ik denk dat half NL gaat BBQ vandaag! (+) ‘I think half the Netherlands are going to BBQ today.’ –ik denk dat hij je zo gaat versieren. (+) ‘I think he is going to make a move on you in a bit.’ –ja ik denk doe is aardig (-) ‘Yes, I’m thinking, let’s be nice.’

12 denk ik ‘think I’ (Twitter) –Ak geleerd, gaat wel goed komen denk ik (: (+) ‘Did geography, will be alright I think’ –Saniya is denk ik heel erg blij. (+) ‘Saniya is very happy, I think’ –Ik ga ff een biertje drinken denk ik (-) ‘I’m going to drink a beer, I think’

13 ik geloof ‘I believe’ (Twitter) –Ik geloof niet dat iemand hier hem kent… (+) ‘I don’t think anybody knows him here.’ –Ik geloof dat iedereen een korte broek aan doet vandaag, tl staat vol (+) ‘I think everyone is wearing shorts today, my TL is bursting.’

14 geloof ik ‘believe I’ (Twitter) –Hahaha, Leon gaat me haten als ik dit jaar blijf zitten geloof ik xD (+) ‘ Whahaha, Leon is gonna hate me if I’m held back this year, I think.’ –@martijnkoetsier gebruikt ’m geloof ik al een tijdje (+) ‘@martijnkoetsier has been using it for some time, I think.’

15 geloofde ‘believed’ (Twitter) –serieus vroeger geloofde ik hierin, wat was er mis met mij? haha (-) ‘Seriously, I used to believe in this, what was wrong with me?’ –Weetje… eerst geloofde ik niet dat ze zwanger is.. maar nu geloof ik nii dat ze een grapje maakt… o_O (-) ‘You know… first I did not believe she was pregnant, but now I don’t think she was joking…. o_O’

16 Counterfactual dacht ‘thought’ –Dacht ik nederlands helemaal verpest te hebben, heb ik toch nog een 8 :D #happyme (+) ‘I thought I had screwed up my Dutch test. Still got an 8 :D #happyme’ –Zwemles als altijd dacht ik, maar dat liep verrassend anders (+) ‘Swimming lesson as usual, I thought, but it was surprisingly different’ –Ik dacht dat mn mobiel nog in mn zak zat maar gelukkig niet. (+) ‘I thought my cell phone was still in my pocket, but luckily it was not.’

17 Results corpus research –denken ‘think’: less often in original (literal) meaning; in non-literal meaning not necessarily evidential (also other non-literal meanings, such as intention) –geloven ‘believe’: either original or evidential interpretation

18 Results corpus research In past tense ik geloofde dat ‘I believe that’ becomes the primary information. Note that the same holds for perception verbs : –Ik zie/geloof dat Jan ziek is (+) –Jan is ziek, zie/geloof ik (+) –Ik zag/geloofde dat Jan ziek was (-)

19 Comparison denken ‘think’ Agent If grammaticalised, not necessarily evidential (intention, counterfactual): Also past tense possible with evidential meaning geloven ‘believe’ Experiencer If grammaticalised (medium or final position), then necessarily evidential Past tense not possible with evidential meaning

20 Preliminary conclusion (Dutch) –denken ‘think’  subject ‘I’ = Agent, therefore the evidentiality is (purely) inferential –geloven ‘believe’  subject ‘I’ = Experiencer, therefore the evidentiality is more impressionistic, less inferential, ‘affective’ –The inference (denken) can take place in the past, but the impression (geloven) not

21 German Denken und glauben

22 General observations Similar to Dutch Denken more often literal than glauben Denken often in construction: ‘Every time when X happens, I think Y’ Immer wenn ich Berliner-Neufolger habe, denke ich “Aaah scheisse, ein echter Mensch” ‘Every time I have a new follower from Berlin, I think “Aaah shit, a real human being”’

23 Focus on glauben Ich glaube der Zug hat Verspätung :D ‘ I think the train is delayed’ Mein Kopf ist glaube ich noch nicht richtig da, aber rein körperlich bin ich anwesend. ‘ I think mentally I am not quite there yet, but physically I am present.’ ‘Badtölz’ heißt das glaube ich :D ‘I believe it is called ‘Badtölz’’

24 Glauben in expressive construction Mobile Werbung in den USA: Neuartige Bus-Außenkarosserie aus LCD- Bildschirmen…. Ich glaub‘, mich streift ‘ne Glotze… ‘I believe a tv hit me from the side’

25 Example b @Sohnemann12 fragt mich grade wan der Weihnachtsmann kommt !! Ich glaub ich stehe im Wald !!! ‘I believe I am standing in the forest’

26 Example c Ich glaub, mein Hamster bohnert!: Im vergangenen November wurde Dortmund von etwas erschüttert, das die Lokalpre... ‘I believe my hamster scrubs the floor’

27 Example d @oberbaum7 Schumi?! Dachte auch mich tritt ein Pferd, als das gestern im ersten als Eilmeldung eingeblendet wurde. ‘Thought as well a horse hit me’

28 I believe [weird experience] Form: (Ich) Glaube, glaub’, glaub Position: Always initial, not parenthetical or at the end When narrative of past event, then shift to (Ich) dachte ‘(I) thought’

29 A paradigm a.Ich glaub, mein Hamster bohnert! [I believe my hamster scrubs the floor] b.Ich glaub, mein Schwein pfeift! [My pig whistles] c.Ich glaub‘, mein Pferd schielt! [my horse is cross-eyed] d.Ich glaub, mich streift ein Bus / ein D- Zug! [a bus / D-train hits me from the side]

30 Paradigm e.Ich glaub‘, mich küsst / knutscht ein Elch / ein Haifisch! [a reindeer / a shark kisses / smooches me] f.Ich glaub, ich steh im Wald! [I believe I am standing in the forrest] g.(Ich glaub‘ / glaube,) mich laust der Affe! [the monkey grooms me] h.Ich glaub / denk, mich tritt ein Pferd! [Thought a horse hit me]

31 Mirative evidentality Mirative evidentials mark a more or less spontaneous reaction to a new,salient, often surprising event (Aikhenvald 2004: 197) They are typical in contexts of discovery (Rett & Murray 2013: 5)

32 Direct and indirect evidential markers Rett & Murray (2013): If a language distinguishes between markers for direct and indirect evidentiality, then it is typically the case that the indirect evidential marker is the one that is used for mirative purposes.

33 Turkish Kemal gel-di ‘Kemal came’ Kemal gel-miş ‘Kemal came’ (inferred or heard) Kemal gel-miş! ‘Kemal is here, what a surprise’

34 Question Can glauben be considered as an indirect evidential marker?

35 Capelli 2008, p. 542

36 Affective evidentiality Capellli: ‘faith’, ‘impression’ “Affect has not been recognized as a source of information” (Jing-Schmidt & Kapatsinksi 2012: 348) ‘Fear’ is different from ‘faith’ and ‘impression’, relation between these different types of evidentiality needs further study.

37 Examples from motivation letters I feel, my current job often lacks the aforementioned challenges. I feel my background gives me plenty of relevant experience that would translate into success on your course. I also feel that adapting to a new environment and a new country would not be a problem for me either.

38 Capelli 2008, p. 533

39 Capelli 2008, p. 539 “[B]y using believe, the speaker conveys a high ‘involvement’ in the likelihood of p, although still ‘standing’ in the domain of uncertainty.” I consider glauben as the more indirect counterpart in relation to denken.

40 Recency restriction The utterance must be an immediate reaction to a here-and-now experience Ik denk dat we beter kunnen gaan. ‘I think we better leave’ Ik geloof dat we beter kunnen gaan. ‘I believe we better leave’

41 The weird propositional content Conversational implicature: ‘This cannot be true’ Mirative and negation, cf. Lesage (2013: 45) on No way!

42 The construction as a whole Ich glaube: actual impression, not very reliable Conversational implicature of proposition  ‘This cannot be true’ Result: Speaker expresses being flabbergasted

43 Think and believe in English

44 For a complete analysis of evidential think and believe we needed to add find. We found examples of evidential think, believe and find in Twitter.

45 Think and believe English think and believe are more similar to each other than Dutch denken and geloven and German denken and glauben. In many utterances they are interchangeable.

46 Think and believe I think we will win I think I called that everyone “When does the CohF cover come out”I don’t know; my publisher does reveals, not me. Mid January I believe I believe I suffer from insomnia so can I get some weed prescribed

47 Think / believe vs find Find emphasises personal experience. I find that great kit encourages & inspires me to exercise I find that my most frequently used emojis explain my emotions and life perfectly

48 Think and believe do not require a basis of personal experience. Personal evidentialityInference can be based on other types of evidence Find Think Believe

49 Use of believe Believe can be used in academic texts. This is not the case with Dutch geloven. In Twitter we found several instances of highly certain evidential believe Usually with pronoun we

50 We believe These are "comic books" from the third millennium. We believe they are about fertility goddesses trying to save men with hypertrophy. UO fans support players through good times & bad. Scandal is sensationalized in media, but we believe our peers deserve nothing but respect. There are many ways to serve your community, but we believe we have a duty and honor to help other people! #mormon

51 Past tense Incorrect assumptions and counterfactuals: Thought: incorrect assumption The Jonas Brothers split up?! What?? They're brothers! They can't just split up! I thought they'd last at LEAST until the year 3000… And I thought I would have more space after freeing up two cabinets for more merch..Who am I kidding. Believed : Hospital on Wang Lijun: "He once considered suicide. We believed he needed treatment but he declined". It doesn't hurt because you ignored me. It hurts because I believed you wouldn't.

52 Found Found can be used in evidential manner: I've found that many dilemmas in my life were actually the LOA guiding me in a different direction. So dilemmas may actually be positive ;)

53 Spanish pensar and creer

54 think, believe and the like in Spanish creo (‘I believe’) is far more frequent than pienso (‘I think’) –creo: 15.613; pienso: 2.389 ( –on Twitter: creo is about 50% more frequent than pienso other verbs of cognitive attitude seem to be more frequent, especially parecer (‘seem’) –me parece que... twice as frequent as pienso que...

55 pienso in ‘tuits’: non evidential uses the act of thinking, reasoning –pienso, luego tuiteo (‘I think, therefore I twitter’) –tengo esa puta costumbre de decir lo primero que pienso, y luego me arrepiento (‘I have that fucking habit of saying the first thing that I think, and then regret it’) –pienso en ti amooor, a cada instanteee(8 (‘I think of you my love, all the time’) expressing intentions, plans –no pienso hacer nada hasta las 6 (‘I intend to do nothing until 6 o’clock’) –no pienso dejar que nadie me arruine el 2014. Voy a ser feliz le joda a quien le joda (‘I don’t let anyone ruin my 2014. I’m going to be happy, regardless of who gives a shit’)

56 pienso: evidential use? most transitive cases are neither evidential –a veces pienso que tengo que tomar pastillas para dormir. (‘Sometimes I think that I should take sleeping pills’) –cuando mi novia no está conmigo, pienso que está con otro. (‘when my girlfriend isn’t home, I think that she is with someone else’) cases in which pienso is used evidentially are relatively rare in Peninsular Spanish –me tiene que tener blokeada o algo,por no me contesta,yo pienso que ni me lee :‘(( (‘she must have blocked me or something, ‘cause she doesn’t answer, I think that she doesn’t even read me’)

57 differences between Peninsular Spanish and Latin American Spanish tentative conclusion: for evidentiality in Spain, creo is the common, preferred choice in Latin American countries, pienso is a common, evidential device

58 Latin American evidentiality (1) pienso que ya estoy lista para casarme. Aprendí a hervir agua (Venezuela) (‘I think that I’m ready to get married. I learned how to boil water’) (2) así es, pero pienso que por eso necesitamos reglas más estrictas (Venezuela) (‘that’s it, but I think that’s why we need stricter rules’) (3) tienes tu encanto! Yo pienso que es mejor que sepas NO es para tanto (Venezuela) (‘you have your charm! I think it’s better that you know that it’s not that bad’) in all these cases, a Spaniard would probably use creo

59 grammaticalisation of creo (cf. Posio, 2013) original lexical meaning becomes backgrounded; more pragmatic or grammatical uses creo is used parenthetically –Habra que twittear mas creo (‘We should twitter more I believe’) –En el viva maría creo, príncipe subiendo (‘At the V.M. I believe, further up P.Street’) –Menos jueves yo creo (‘Except for Thursday I believe’) –Voy a dormir creo (‘I’m going to get some sleep I believe’) creo que is considered as a unit –lengethening of final vowel phonological reduction internal fixation: no adverbs etc. between creo and que –creo sinceramente que...: with adverb evidential or pragmatic reading unlikely no ‘dequeísmo’ (le dije de que, me sorprende de que): *creo de que

60 creo creo normally occurs with a complementizer que – of all the ocurrences of creo, about 75% is creo que –three samples of Twitter data: 22, 24 and 24 out of 30 creo que (very) low frecuency of creo in its original lexical, propostional meaning –yo creo en tu talento y se que este sueño tu lo haras realidad vamos (‘I believe in your talent and I know that you wil make this dream reality, come on’) –Sólo creo en mi mismo no creo en ninguna cruz (‘I just believe in myself I don’t believe in any cross’)

61 creo: other uses the proposition is about the speaker (typically one’s own feelings, expectations, intentions) –creo que se me va a abrir la herida! (‘... that my wound is going to open’) –creo que soltero estoy mejor♥ (‘... that I’m better off single’) –creo que mañana falto al cole (‘... that I will be absent from school’). –hoy voy a hacer mates que creo que no me vendrá nada mal (‘today I’m going to do math ‘cause I believe that wouldn’t be bad for me’) the proposition is about something of someone else (typically statements, opinions, predictions about other’s persons behaviour, expectations about future events) –este año creo que nos va a dar grandes alegrias (‘this year I believe will give us lots of joy’) –creo que significa "el mayor desafío la vida". Pero no estoy mu segura (‘I believe it means ‘the greatest challenge of my life’. But I’m not very sure’) –bueno, una semana de diferencia, no es tan preocupante, creo (‘Well, a week’s difference, that’s not so worrying, I believe’)

62 creo and pienso: other choices ± subject pronoun: creo vs yo creo; pienso vs yo pienso ± subject inversion yo creo vs creo yo; yo pienso vs pienso yo in Spanish, a pro-drop language, the use of subject pronouns is considered to be marked subject pronoun less common with pienso ( Enríquez (1984): “creo together with creo yo and yo creo are interchangeable” Davidson (1996): “adding yo would trigger a speech act reading of the verb”

63 ± subject pronoun: recent suggestions (Aijón Oliva & Serra 2010, quoted y Posio 2013:9; Henneman 2012) - pronoun: expresses evidentiality; mitigating function, cautious epistemic stance + pronoun: S is taken responsability for an utterance, confident epistemic stance; expresses opinion; no external evidence, personal belief, truth value not questioned

64 ± subject pronoun in Spanish tweets not completely confirmed by Twitter data +pronoun, evidentiality: –yo creo que tengo la novia mas dormilona del mundo (‘I believe I have the most sleepyhead girlfriend in the world’) –empezamos bien el año costipado yo creo que ami me habra mirado un tuerto o algo jajajja (‘We have started the year well, a bad cold, I believe a one-eyed person might have looked at me’)

65 subject inversion Posio (2013:11): creo yo: “[represents] the speaker’s point of view but not necessarily being shared by others” Not clearly confirmed by twitter data: –Creo yo que hoy toca la peli de la sexta (‘I believe that today the movie is shown on channel 6’) –Kakkmaddafakka anuncian una aaaaamplia gira española para noviembre. si pero en el tourmix creo yo que no van a caber.... (‘K. announces a large Spanish tour, but I don’t believe that they’ll fit in the Tourmix’) –Navas en el campo, ahora si creo yo que veamos espectáculo (‘N. on the pitch, now I believe that it’s going to be spectacular’) regional differences: high degree of subject inversion in Mexican Spanish (Lipski, nd: 10)

66 conclusions Frequency evidential use Pronoun dropParenthetical and utterance final use Corresponding modality / degree of certainty Subjective perspective possible (‘opinion’) Other relevant verbs Denken++rare+++ Geloven+rare+++Vinden Denken (G)+++++ Glauben++++++Finden Think++no+++Find Believe?no++++ Pensar-/++++++parecer Creer++ +++

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