Egophoricity and evidentiality in Guambiano (Nam Trik)
Egophoric verbal marking is a typological feature common to Barbacoan languages, but otherwise unknown in the Andean sphere. The verbal systems of three out of the four living Barbacoan languages, Cha’palaa, Tsafiki and Awa Pit, have previously been shown to express egophoric contrasts. The status of Guambiano has, however, remained uncertain. In this chapter, I show that there are in fact two layers of egophoric or egophoric-like marking visible in Guambiano’s grammar. Guambiano patterns with certain other (non-Barbacoan) languages in having ego-categories which function within a broader evidential system. It is additionally possible to detect what is possibly a more archaic layer of egophoric marking in Guambiano’s verbal system. This marking may be inherited from a common Barbacoan system, thus pointing to a potential genealogical basis for the egophoric patterning common to these languages. The multiple formal expressions of egophoricity apparent both within and across the four languages reveal how egophoric contrasts are susceptible to structural renewal, suggesting a pan-Barbacoan preoccupation with the linguistic encoding of self-knowledge.
Publication typeBook chapter