The symposium is organized by Henrik Bergqvist (Stockholm University) and Seppo Kittilä (University of Helsinki).

Symposium to be held 17-18 March, 2016 at Stockholm University.

Programme: Symposium on evidentiality, egophoricity, and engagement

It has become increasingly clear over the last 20 years that epistemicity in language houses a number of distinct notions and categories that are only partly related to a well explored notion like modality, which by some has been equated with the very notion of epistemicity found in different parts of grammar.

 Evidentiality, Egophoricity, Engagement, March 2016 (93 Kb)


The aim of the symposium is therefore to contribute to the ongoing exploration of epistemic marking systems in lesser-documented languages from the Americas, Papua New Guinea, and Central Asia from the perspective of description and cross-linguistic comparison.


As the title of the symposium suggests, part of this exploration consists of comparing already established categories such as evidentiality to the diversity of systems found in individual languages. Research issues include:

  • meaning in forms as encoded or implied
  • the (semantic) scope properties of forms with respect to other categories and the proposition itself
  • the development of forms with respect to ontogeny and phylogeny
  • grammatical status of forms
  • use and related interactional aspects
  • establishing criteria for cross-linguistic comparison

Invited speakers

Participants come mainly from Stockholm University and University of Helsinki as part of a newly instated collaboration program, but the organizers invite proposals from outside researchers working on epistemicity in language, using first hand data, or typological approaches.

Professor Nicholas Evans (ANU, Canberra) and Professor Alan Rumsey (ANU, Canberra) are invited plenary speakers at the symposium. Both have worked and published extensively on epistemicity, intersubjectivity, and social cognition from a descriptive and typological perspective for over 30 years.


Henrik Bergqvist:
Seppo Kittilä:

If you have any questions about the symposium, don’t hesitate to contact the organizers.