Assertion, presumption and presupposition An account of the erstwhile nominalizer YUM in Khalkha Mongolian

Benjamin Brosig, Foong Ha Yap, Kathleen Ahrens

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we analyze the clitic YUM (< 'thing') in Khalkha Mongolian which, in different syntactic contexts, reinforces assertiveness or expresses different shades of presumption or presupposition. The former holds for declaratives where the presence of YUM conveys the speaker's strong subjective commitment. In question clauses, YUM is used to indicate the speaker's subjective and often strong guess, sometimes to the point that the speaker presupposes that the proposition actually obtains. In subordinate clauses, YUM may fulfill the same function or serve as a structurally necessary nominalizer for adjectival predicates without introducing any semantic opposition. In declaratives marked as immediately perceived, YUM conveys inference via assumptive reasoning. We thus analyze YUM as a marker of subjective speaker conviction that within the Khalkha Mongolian declarative system is opposed to both simple factuality and overt evidential marking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-940
Number of pages45
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019


  • Assertion
  • Evidentiality
  • Inference
  • Presumption
  • Presupposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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