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Modalité et évidentialité en Zaar, langue tchadique du Nigéria

Abstract : Zaar is a Chadic language spoken by over 100,000 speakers in Nigeria, in the South of Bauchi State. In Northern Nigeria, where Zaar is spoken, Hausa is the dominant regional language, spoken by over 60 million people, and widely used in education, administration, and the media. As a result, all adult Zaar speakers are bilingual Zaar-Hausa. This paper uses the enunciative theoretical frame to present a corpus-based analysis of the relationship between epistemic modality, evidentiality (represented in Zaar by a quotative) and a set of three sentence-final assertive particles. Epistemic modality is barely represented in the corpus, through the auxiliary ɗjaː, 'can, may' borrowed from Hausa and /or the Hausa particle séj, 'it is necessary that...'. The quotative particle tu is widely used and can be reinforced by or substituted with the Hausa particle wéj. This quotative particle indicates that the predication is asserted by a speaker different from the enunciator, defined as the ultimate source licensing the referential values of the utterance. The auxiliary ɗjaː and the particle séj evaluate the probability for the event expressed by the predication to happen. The Zaar quotative is neutral as to the epistemic value of the predication. The relative inexistence of epistemic modality and its expression by Hausa loanwords can be accounted for by the massive presence of sentence final assertive particles which limit the need for epistemic judgments. The particle eː appears with WH-Questions; aː is used for Yes/No-Questions; oː appears to express re-assertion of an utterance that has already been licensed by another speaker, producing such values as approbation, denegation, irony, controversy, etc. As a conclusion, this paper characterizes Zaar as a language where epistemic modality is superseded by dialogic activity.
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Contributor : Bernard Caron <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 3, 2012 - 12:00:34 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 1:28:01 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00665961, version 1


Bernard Caron. Modalité et évidentialité en Zaar, langue tchadique du Nigéria. Les modalités épistémiques à travers la diversité des langues, Jan 2012, Villejuif, France. ⟨halshs-00665961⟩



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