Timing of evidence and epistemic modal claims in ʔayʔaǰuθəm (Comox-Sliammon) and English
In this talk, she proposes a new type of temporal relation encoded in certain epistemic modal claims: the timing of the evidence relative to the prejacent proposition. Huijsmans provides evidence for this claim based on the distribution of the ʔayʔaǰuθəm (Comox-Sliammon; Central Salish) future morpheme səm ‘will’ and inferential morpheme č̓ɛ ‘must’ in epistemic modal claims about present and past eventualities (e.g., səm/č̓ɛ kʷi nɛʔ ʔamot ‘he will/must be home now’). She shows that səm is used for inferences based on a body of evidence in place prior to the earliest moment the prejacent is true, while č̓ɛ is used for inferences based on a body of information that includes evidence available at or following the earliest moment the prejacent is true. Huijismans also extends the analysis to English will, which shares contextual restrictions with ʔayʔaǰuθəm səm. While this proposal builds on previous analyses referencing Evidence Acquisition Time (e.g., Lee 2011, 2013, Smirnova 2011, 2013, Hirayama & Matthewson 2022), she argues that an account in terms of the timing of evidence better predicts the distribution of səm, will and č̓ɛ. I also discuss advantages and limitations of this approach in relation to recent literature on will (e.g., Winans 2016, Mihoc et al. 2019) and other future morphemes found in inferences about past and present eventualities cross-linguistically (e.g., Giannikidou & Mari 2018, Ippolito & Farkas 2022).
Date: Friday, December 1, 3:30-5pm, SS560A Sidney Smith Hall.