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Lecture | Com(parative) Syn(tax) series

The grammar of knowing: A lesson from cross-linguistic patterns for markedness

Thursday 20 May 2021
Com(parative) Syn(tax) Series
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In this talk, I present evidence from a range of linguistic phenomena that the most unmarked types of clauses are used to assert a speaker’s knowledge about the actual world. This evidence includes propositional attitude verbs, modality, clause-typing, mood, evidentiality, and discourse particles. While it is not the case that knowledge cannot be marked as such, I show that it need not be linguistically marked. This invites the conclusion that knowledge is also the most basic mental representation, thus contributing to a long-standing philosophical debate regarding the nature of knowledge.

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