32: You heard about it but I was there - Evidentiality

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May 16 2019 33 mins   942
Sometimes, you know something for sure. You were there. You witnessed it. And you want to make sure that anyone who hears about it from you knows that you’re a direct source. Other times, you weren’t there, but you still have news. Maybe you found it out from someone else, or you pieced together a couple pieces of indirect evidence. In that case, you don’t want to overcommit yourself. When you pass the information on, you want to qualify it with how you found out, in case it turns out not to be accurate. In this episode of Lingthusiasm, your hosts Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch get enthusiastic about how we come to know things, and how different languages let us talk about this. Some languages, like English, give us the option of adding extra adverbs and clauses, like “I’m sure that” or “I was told that” or “maybe” or “apparently”. In other languages, like Syuba, indicating how you’ve come to know something is baked right into the grammar. We also talk about what this means for how kids learn languages and how English might evolve more evidentials. This month’s bonus episode is about talking to animals! Making animals learn human language has not generally worked out as well as people have hoped, but the attempts are still very interesting! Support Lingthusiasm on Patreon to gain access to the animals episode and 26 previous bonus episodes. patreon.com/lingthusiasm -- Merch update! Have you ever browsed the "Insert Symbol" menu just for fun? Do you stay up late reading Wikipedia articles about obscure characters? Or do you just…somehow…know a little bit too much about Unicode? Introducing the new ESOTERIC SYMBOLS scarves! We've hand-picked and arranged in a pleasing array our favourite symbols from the editing, logic, music, game piece, punctuation, mathematics, currency, shapes, planets, arrows, and Just Plain Looks Cool sections of Unicode! Including fan favourites like: the interrobang ‽ multiocular o ꙮ the old school b&w snowman, the pilcrow ¶ the one-em, two-em AND three-em dashes And yes, the classic Unicode error diamond with question mark itself � We're also very excited to announce that all our scarf designs (IPA, trees, and esoteric symbols) are now available on mugs and notebooks, for those who prefer to show off their nerdery in household object rather than apparel form. By popular demand, we've made LITTLE LONGITUDINAL LANGUAGE ACQUISITION PROJECT onesies and kiddy tshirts available for everyone! Available in Mum's, Dad's, Mom's, and without possessor marking (because it turns out that there are a LOT of kinship terms). Get them at: https://redbubble.com/people/lingthusiasm/ Here are the links mentioned in this episode: https://lingthusiasm.com/post/184928796346/lingthusiasm-episode-32-you-heard-about-it-but-i