Tensed evidentials: a typological study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To gain more insight into evidentiality, the grammatical marking of information source, it is worth studying the category in its relation to other grammatical categories. This study explores tensed evidentials, morphemes in which tense and evidentiality are fused, in 36 languages from four macro-areas (North America, South America, Eurasia, and Papunesia). The study reveals several interactions between tense values and evidential values. As opposed to what has been claimed, firsthand future evidentials seem to exist. Visual and non-visual evidentials occur equally with present and past, whereas mental activity evidentials and reportative evidentials are much more limited to the past. These findings conform to the logic of tense: every type of evidentiality can be gathered in the past, whereas some are less suited for present or future. As a result, we find exceptionless implicational hierarchies of the form future ⊃ present ⊃ past for several evidential values.


  • Eline Visser
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • evidential, grammatical category , inflection, information status , tense
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-325
Number of pages47
JournalLinguistic Typology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch