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A New Interpretation of the Vedic Particle aṅgá

Pascal Coenen    Universität zu Köln, Deutschland    

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abstract

The aim of this article is to provide a unified account for all attestations of the particle aṅgá in the Rigveda. Based on its distribution in different clause types, I argue that previous analyses of this particle, which treat it as a focus particle or a marker of the speaker’s attitude or certainty are incorrect. Instead, I propose that the particle is used to indicate shared (lack of) knowledge between speaker and addressee. This proposal is based on the observation that when the particle occurs in questions these are not information-seeking. By adducing typological parallels, I argue that this function accounts for its presence in other clause types as well. Moreover, I will attempt to show that while aṅgá has an intersubjective function it is not to be regarded as an evidential or a marker of epistemic authority or epistemic modality.

Published
June 26, 2023
Accepted
March 27, 2022
Submitted
Jan. 12, 2023
Language
EN

Keywords: Shared KnowledgeModal ParticlesDiscourse ParticlesIntersubjectivityEvidentialityEnimitivesEpistemic Authority

Copyright: © 2023 Pascal Coenen. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.