Looks like a duck, quacks like a hand: tools for eliciting evidential and epistemic distinctions, with examples from Lamjung Yolmo (Tibetic, Nepal) Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThis article describes the use of eight research tools used in the documentation of evidential and modal use in Lamjung Yolmo, a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal. For each tool, the methodology is described, and some examples of the usefulness and limitations are discussed. The methods include use of existing and novel tools and materials. Image tasks included the existing resources Family Problem Picture Task and Jackal and Crow, as well as optical illusions. Object tasks included the hidden objects game and magic tricks. Listening and talking tasks included the game twenty questions, reporting previous speech, and a grammaticality judgement task based on multiple reports. Making research methods more transparent, and the open sharing of data and materials, allows us to move forward with better understanding of the contexts of evidential use, and more nuanced cross-linguistic typological analysis of evidential systems.

publication date

  • September 25, 2020