This paper explores the semantics of the particle gisa in Tshangla, an understudied Tibeto-Burman language. Gisa appears to indicate uncertainty on the part of some attitude holder (the speaker in declaratives, the addressee in interrogatives). The authors propose that gisa negates the modal assertion head realized overtly in Tshangla as the conjunct marker. The conjunct marker returns true iff its prejacent is true in all of the worlds consistent with the speaker's 'well-integrated beliefs.' The notion of well-integrated beliefs is related to previous discussion of conjunct morphology. Gisa negates this modal assertion such that a gisa sentence is true iff it is not the case that the prejacent is true in all worlds consistent with the speaker's well-integrated beliefs. It is shown that given this semantics and a general notion of pragmatic informativity and competition, the attested distribution of gisa is obtained.
Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
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