The Boundaries between Perception and Evidentiality. Dialectal and Diachronic variation in "se ve que"

Maria Estellés, Marta Albelda


The sequence se ve que can convey various meanings: indirect physical perception, cognitive perception and evidentiality. The latter value, however, is restricted to European Spanish, and is especially frequent in the Eastern Area. From a diatopic perspective, the existence of ambiguous uses of se ve que can be acknowledged where speakers can interpret both a perceptual and an evidential meaning of the structure. Thanks to a diachronic study and to the analysis of ambiguous vs. non-ambiguous uses, this article postulates further recognition criteria that help distinguish between perceptual and evidential meanings of se ve que. In this sense, the study shows that the trait shared by perceptual and evidential values —and the one leading to ambiguity— is the fact that they are based on one and the same reasoning process, and the difference between them —that may help distinguish them— lies in the part of the reasoning process that is being cognitively focused. Likewise, the article shows how a deeper study of se ve que can contribute to a better understanding of evidentiality in Spanish.

Paraules clau

evidentiality, perception, se ve que, diatopic variation, diachronic variation

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