The interrogative flip with illocutionary evidentials

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This paper develops an account of the Cuzco Quechua reportative
evidential. It is proposed that it contributes a preparatory condition in all its uses
which states that the evidence holder has reportative evidence that supports the
speaker raising the issue denoted by the sentence it occurs in. In declarative
sentences, this results in the speech act of presenting the proposition expressed
without expressing the speaker’s belief that it is true. In interrogatives, there are
two readings. On the interrogative flip reading, the evidence holder is the addressee and the resulting speech act is a question supported by the speaker’s assumption that the addressee has reportative evidence for one of the answers. On the second reading, the evidence holder is the speaker, and the resulting speech act is one of asking the question on behalf of someone else. The account differs from previous accounts of the flipped reading of evidentials in questions which make them part of the answers. It is argued that analyzing the reportative’s contribution as a preparatory condition better captures the insight that the speaker chooses the evidential based on what they know about the addressee’s likely type of evidence at the time of speaking. The paper moreover argues that preparatory conditions cannot be analyzed as presuppositions in the common ground and should instead be understood as propositions the speaker takes for granted, but which may be new information to the addressee.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFolia Linguistica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jul 2023


  • interrogative flip; reportative evidentials; preparatory conditions


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