Arawan Luchuan Language Analysis

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Linguistic Evidentiality in Arawan, Luchuan, and Livonian
An often overlooked yet fascinating aspect of the plethora of languages spoken throughout the planet, is the information they require their speakers to provide whenever describing something. For example, in the English language, there are many nouns to describe humans that do not differentiate between male and female, like friend. However, in Spanish, if one wants to refer to someone they consider a friend, it is necessary to use either the masculine or feminine form. The information a language requires its speakers to include is described as evidentiality and there are drastic differences between the demands placed on speakers in different cultures. Through the analysis of the Arawan,
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From the Jarawara’s multiple verb tenses, to Japanese differentiating where their information has been obtained, and the Latvians grammatical moods and specific evidentials, there are an abundant amount of examples of languages demands on speakers. While it is simple enough to record and analyze the differences in these languages, there is still much research to be done on if there are any effects on the different speakers. As humans, it is possible that unconsciously we develop and adopt a language that fits our culture and lifestyle in the most beneficial way. For example, why is it that the Jarawaran people choose to specify their past tenses into far past, recent past, and immediate past? Could there be a benefit for these people of the Amazon who are constantly surrounded by a multitude of hazardous animals to specify when they saw an event? Perhaps, they have learned that it is advantageous to pay close attention to the timing of occurrences in order to have the ability to accurately relay the information if it is needed in treacherous times. In America, one could say ‘I saw a piranha at the zoo,’ and it would not matter to most if that was ten years ago or yesterday because they are in a secure zone and would not be risking anyone's life in the near future. There is a stark difference between an American’s event of seeing an unsafe animal and a Jarawan who live among these animals. These questions are summed up in a quote from Guy Deutscher “No one... would argue nowadays that the structure of a language limits its speakers’ understanding to those concepts and distinctions that happen to already be part of the linguistic system. Rather, serious researchers have looked for the consequences of the habitual use from an early age of certain ways of expression” (156). There is still plenty of

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