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M.A. Theses in Linguistics
at the University of North Dakota
Lubberger, Beate 2014
A description and analysis of four metarepresentation markers of Indus Kohistani
This thesis describes and analyzes four markers of Indus Kohistani, a language spoken in Northern
Pakistan that has received little attention so far. The markers discussed are lee, a “hearsay” evidential
that does however not mark every reported speech, karee, a grammaticalized quotative and
complementizer that is also found in purpose and reason clauses, in naming and in similarity
constructions, če, a complementizer borrowed from Pashto, and loo, a marker that indicates utterances a speaker wishes her audience to convey to a third party.
Relevance Theory, an inferential theory of communication, distinguishes between utterances that
are descriptions or representations of a state of affairs and utterances that are the representations of
another representation like speech or thought, i.e. metarepresentations. This distinction allows for an
analysis within this framework that shows one underlying meaning common to all four markers: all are
used as indicators of metarepresentation. What distinguishes them is the kind of metarepresentation they point out. The evidential lee indicates metarepresentation of attributed utterances; karee marks attributed and self-attributed thoughts and utterances; the complementizer če indicates the same
metarepresentations while gradually replacing karee; and the marker loo is used to indicate
metarepresentations of desirable utterances, a non-attributive type of metarepresentation. Furthermore, I suggest that the evidential lee also activates the cognitive assessment mechanism of an addressee,
providing input for the evaluation of the communicated information, namely its source. A speaker will
use lee when what she communicates is the report of rather unusual events, to show herself as
trustworthy and to hand over some of the responsibility of assessment to the addressee.
This study uses data from collected narrative and non-narrative recorded texts as well as from
recorded conversations; it includes a short sketch of Indus Kohistani typological features.