Henrik Bergqvist


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Works at Department of Linguistics
Telephone 08-16 26 67
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 C, plan 2-3
Room C 234
Postal address Institutionen för lingvistik 106 91 Stockholm


My research interests are centered around language description and documentation with a focus on epistemic marking systems. I have almost exclusively worked on the native languages of middle and south america where I have spent time in the field in Mexico and Colombia.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • Henrik Bergqvist.

    The paper accounts for the grammaticalization of uúch, (‘previously’, ‘long ago’) from a one-place predicate in Yukatek Maya meaning ‘to happen’, to a cognate adverbial in Lakandon Maya denoting ‘knowledge asymmetry’; a change from subjective ‘time’ to intersubjective ‘knowledge’. The paper proposes an analysis of uúch and the contrasting kuúch/ka’ch as operators of second-order stance, using a Jakobsonian model for analyzing verbal categories forwarded by Paul Kockelman (2004) to operationalize the notion of stance, as visible in Q’eqchi’ modals. Intersubjectification as a process of language change aligns with Kockelman’s original suggestion that first-order stances may be embedded to produce second-order stances, i.e. “stance about stance”.

  • 2016. Henrik Bergqvist. International Journal of American Linguistics 82 (1), 1-34

    The paper analyzes a form of epistemic marking in Kogi (Arwako-Chibchan) that positions information between the speech-participants from the perspective of the speaker. This form of epistemic marking is tentatively labeled “complex epistemic perspective” and is found with five prefixes that attach to the auxiliary verb. Relevant meaning contrasts are between speaker-perspective and addressee-perspective forms, which may in turn be separated into symmetric and asymmetric forms that signal shared and exclusive knowledge access. The meaning dimension of knowledge access is also subject to a private/public distinction that parallels the notion of “territory of information” (Kamio 1997; Heritage 2012) where information may belong more to one of the speech participants than the other. The analyzed forms thus share a core function in specifying two simultaneous perspectives as part of the referential ground (e.g. Hanks 1990; 2009). The paper builds on first-hand data collected in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region of northern Colombia and offers the first comprehensive analysis of epistemic marking in the language.

  • 2016. Henrik Bergqvist. Empirical evidence for evidentiality

    The paper argues for a view of evidentials as a type of shifter and outlines a theory of reference for evidentials that separates the configuration of the ground from the relational axis, as well as the alignment between ground and figure. The paper also evaluates a proposal by Kockelman (2004) that draws on Jakobson’s notion of “event type” and Goffman’s “speaker roles” to suggest an existing analogy between “commitment events” for modals and “source events” for evidentials. The scope properties of ‘factual’ forms in both systems notably constitute a formal difference between (epistemic) modality and evidentiality that cannot be accounted for solely by the referential properties of evidentials.

Show all publications by Henrik Bergqvist at Stockholm University

Last updated: February 17, 2020

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