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Mirativity, initially proposed by Scott DeLancey, is a grammatical category in a language, independent of evidentiality, that encodes the speaker's surprise or the unpreparedness of their mind. Grammatical elements that encode the semantic category of mirativity are called miratives (abbreviated MIR).
DeLancey (1997) first promoted the mirative as a cross-linguistic category, identifying Turkish, Hare, Sunwar, Lhasa Tibetan, and Korean as languages exhibiting this category. Citing DeLancey as a predecessor, many researchers have reported miratives in other languages, especially Tibeto-Burman languages. However, Lazard (1999) and Hill (2012) question the validity of this category, Lazard finding that the category cannot be distinguished from a mediative, and Hill finds the evidence given by DeLancey and by Aikhenvald (2004) either incorrect or insufficient. DeLancey (2012) promotes Hare, Kham, and Magar as clear cases of miratives, conceding that his analysis of Tibetan had been incorrect. He makes no mention of Turkish, Sunwar, or Korean. Hill (2015) provides an alternative analysis of Hare, re-analyzing DeLancey's evidence for 'mirativity' as direct evidentiality. Navajo has mirativity in combination with evidentiality.
Albanian has a series of verb forms called miratives or admiratives. These may express surprise on the part of the speaker, but may also have other functions, such as expressing irony, doubt, or reportedness. They may therefore sometimes be translated using the English "apparently".
- Friedman, Victor A. (1986). "Evidentiality in the Balkans: Bulgarian, Macedonian and Albanian" (PDF). In Chafe, Wallace L.; Nichols, Johanna. Evidentiality: The Linguistic Coding of Epistemology. Ablex. pp. 168–187. ISBN 978-0-89391-203-1. p. 180.
- Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (2004). Evidentiality. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-926388-2.
- DeLancey, Scott (1997). "Mirativity: The grammatical marking of unexpected information". Linguistic Typology. 1: 33–52. doi:10.1515/lity.19188.8.131.52.
- DeLancey, Scott (2001). "The mirative and evidentiality". Journal of Pragmatics. 33 (3): 369–382. doi:10.1016/S0378-2166(01)80001-1.
- DeLancey, Scott (2001). "Still mirative after all these years". Journal of Pragmatics. 33 (3): 529–564. doi:10.1515/lity-2012-0020.
- Dickinson, Connie (2000). "Mirativity in Tsafiki". Studies in Language. 24 (2): 379–422. doi:10.1075/sl.24.2.06dic.
- Hill, Nathan W. (2012). "'Mirativity' does not exist: ḥdug in 'Lhasa' Tibetan and other suspects". Linguistic Typology. 16 (3): 389–433. doi:10.1515/lity-2012-0016.
- Hill, Nathan W. (2015). "Hare lõ: the touchstone of mirativity.". SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics. 13 (2): 24–31.
- Lazard, Gilbert. 1999. (2009). "Mirativity, evidentiality, mediativity, or other?". Linguistic Typology. 3 (1): 91–109. doi:10.1515/lity.19184.108.40.206.
- Slobin, Dan I.; Aksu, Ayhan A. (1982). "Tense, aspect and modality in the use of the Turkish evidential" (PDF). In Hopper, Paul J. Tense-aspect: Between semantics & pragmatics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 185–200. ISBN 978-90-272-2865-9.
- Summary of mirative postings at LinguistList (includes bibliography)
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