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Evidentiality and questions

Descriptive

TitleInfo
Title
Evidentiality and questions
SubTitle
Bangla at the interfaces
Name (type = personal)
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Bhadra
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Diti
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Diti Bhadra
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author
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Baker
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Mark
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Mark Baker
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Advisory Committee
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chair
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Dayal
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Veneeta
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Veneeta Dayal
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Advisory Committee
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co-chair
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Gillies
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Anthony
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Anthony Gillies
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Hacquard
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Valentine
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Valentine Hacquard
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
Role
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degree grantor
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School of Graduate Studies
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school
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Text
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theses
OriginInfo
DateCreated (qualifier = exact)
2017
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2017-10
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2017
Place
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xx
Language
LanguageTerm (authority = ISO639-2b); (type = code)
eng
Abstract (type = abstract)
This dissertation has two central foci: (i) it examines the behavioral contrasts of perspective-sensitive elements such as evidentials in questions and assertions; (ii) it investigates the connection between alternative questions and the clausal disjunction-embedder 'whether'. The overall theme of the dissertation is an exploration into the interaction of questions and doxastic domains, set within formal syntactic, semantic and pragmatic theories. The main empirical focus is the South Asian (Indo Aryan; India, Bangladesh) language Bangla (also known as Bengali), which is analyzed based on the native speaker judgements of the author, as well as several surveys collected from other native speakers. The interaction of perspectival elements with speech acts have been a relatively under-explored area of study. I undertake the study of evidentials (elements marking an agent's source of information). I argue for a theory that is both syntax and semantics informed. In particular, I propose that evidentials crucially take only finite clauses as complements, and derive their interpretation from a `judge' that is syntactically represented in the left periphery, and that interacts with other perspectival heads both inside the finite clause as well as the speech-act projection. This approach enables a unified analysis of the Bangla evidential 'naki', that changes its evidential flavor based on its syntactic position. In the interpretative component, I argue that evidentials embody either Involved (committed) or Uninvolved (not committed) sources of information. I propose that the world's evidentials come in two shapes: those that effect Interrogative Flip (shifting of perspective from the speaker to addressee in questions) and those that do not, and I locate the difference in a formal semantic property. This formal property predicts the presence or absence of bias in questions with evidentials, and forges a cross-linguistic link between evidentiality and bias. The second focus of the dissertation is alternative questions and disjunction. The main claim offered is that there is a crucial connection between interrogative and 'whether' in Bangla: they are underlying the same element 'kina'. The surface differences between the two constructions is shown to be derivable from the syntactic processes of head movement and ellipsis. This unification claim has not been undertaken for any other language in the literature. I argue that this claim is also semantically viable, and propose an Alternative Semantics-theoretic analysis that can explain the presence of 'kina' (`whether') in Bangla alternative questions. This analysis, while focussed on Bangla, also makes predictions in an area that is understudied in the world's languages - the interrogative-boolean divide within the universal disjunction space. I undertake a comparative study with Mandarin Chinese, and investigate the locus of the divide in the two languages. This study fits into the overall theme of the dissertation by furthering the understanding of Bangla questions and their interaction with other domains such as disjunction and perspective-sensitivity, as viewed from the standpoint of the syntax-semantics-pragmatic interfaces.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Linguistics
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD
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TitleInfo
Title
School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = local)
rucore10001600001
Identifier
ETD_8503
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T3S46W30
PhysicalDescription
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electronic resource
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application/pdf
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text/xml
Extent
1 online resource (xii, 230 p. : ill.)
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
Note (type = statement of responsibility)
by Diti Bhadra
Location
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NjNbRU
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Semantics
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Pragmatics
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Grammar, Comparative and general--Syntax
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
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Name
FamilyName
Bhadra
GivenName
Diti
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Copyright Holder
RightsEvent
Type
Permission or license
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2017-10-03 11:00:36
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Name
Diti Bhadra
Role
Copyright holder
Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
AssociatedObject
Type
License
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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2017-10-11T14:45:26
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