Psychological Depth is the Internalization of Dialogical Breadth


This essay provides a detailed account of the morphosyntax, semantics, and pragmatics of modal clitics in Q'eqchi'-Maya. It builds on previous arguments that status, or epistemic modality, is a shifter that marks the speaker's commitment to a narrated event relative to the speech event; and that commitment should be understood as a kind of participant role. It details the complicated types of commitment events that are encoded and implicated in various contexts. It shows the ways in which multiple commitment events--inhabited by the speaker, addressee, and actor--combine in various contexts to serve complex functions, ranging from satiatives and dubitives to bluffatives and suprisitives. And it shows the ways in which these complicated, overlapping commitment events may be understood in terms of intentional states--from desire and worry to belief and hope. In this way, it grounds the 'possible worlds' of logicians and the 'intentional worlds' of psychologists in terms of participant roles; and it thereby reinterprets logical and psychological presumptions in terms of social and semiotic practices. In short, it shows the ways in which we are merely minding language when we talk about mind. Finally, while focused on the forms and functions of Q'eqchi'-Maya, it provides an analytic typology that may be used to analyze other languages (and other minds).


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