Tenses, Aspects, and Categories of Evidentiality and Egocentricity in Spoken Lhasa Tibetan



Jiang Di, Yue Ming


Work Unit:

Humanities and Communications College, Shanghai Normal University;School of Foreign Languages, Zhejiang University


Vol.1 No.1 (Serial No.1) 2007






This paper mainly discusses verbal aspects and their syntactic markers in Lhasa Tibetan. Since aspects in Tibetan always share markers with other important categories called evidentiality and egocentricity, the former of which assesses the evidence of speaker's statement and the latter denotes behavioral characteristics of a speaker's ego-centricity, this paper simultaneously describes all three types: aspect, evidentiality and egocentricity. There are nine types of verb aspects in Lhasa Tibetan, namely: Prospective, Imminent, Premediated, Realis, Durative, Resultative, Merely-past, Perfect, and Contextual aspects. There are four types of evidentialities, namely, Self-knowledge, Knowing-by-sight, Knowing-by-newly-found-information and Knowing-by-inference evidentialities. Categories of egocentricity demonstrate whether an action is towards the Self or the Other, whether the speaker gains or loses, and so on. Additionally,this essay also discusses the interactive relationship between syntactical verb aspects and personal pronouns, intentionality, modality, as well as temporal-spatial cognition.

Key Words:

Lhasa dialect of Tibetan, categories of verb aspect, markers of verb aspects, evidentiality, egocentricity


doi: 10.26478/ja2007.1.1.7


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