Consequences of evidential marking on the interpretation of subjective predicates: Experimental data from Korean

  • Sarah Hye-Yeon Lee
  • Elsi Kaiser

Abstract

We report two psycholinguistic experiments on how two kinds of subjective predicates – predicates of personal taste (PPTs) and non-PPT multidimensional adjectives (MDs) – interact with evidential morphology in Korean. We build on theoretical discussion on PPTs and MDs, according to which the semantics of PPTs, but not MDs, makes reference to an individual’s first-person experience. We test whether and how the perceived generalizability of opinions containing PPTs or MDs is modulated by evidentiality. We tested three evidential morphemes in Korean: the direct evidential -te-, the hearsay (reportative) evidential -tay, and the inferential evidential -napo-, along with a baseline condition with no evidential marking. The results suggest that (a) with PPTs, type of evidential marking has no effect on the perceived generalizability of opinions, but (b) with MDs, use of the inferential evidential lowers perceived generalizability. We attribute these patterns to the first-person direct experience requirement of PPTs (which we suggest renders opinions with PPTs harder to generalize, regardless of evidential marking), and to the decreased reliability of inferential evidence. Our work provides novel evidence for a link between evidentiality, subjectivity and the perceived generalizability of opinions.
Published
2021-09-17
How to Cite
Lee, S. H.-Y., & Kaiser, E. (2021). Consequences of evidential marking on the interpretation of subjective predicates: Experimental data from Korean. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 25, 545-562. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.953