Tatar Theoretical Work

Tatar is a Turkic language spoken in Tatarstan, Russia.

There are approximately five million speakers of Tatar.

I have been working on Tatar since 2016, with LA-based language consultants. My research in Tatar primarily focuses on the interaction of tense and evidentiality, especially in embedded contexts. Unpublished projects in Tatar include focus sensitive question markers, index shifting, and binding.

In 2017-18, I received a $36,325.37 fellowship (UCLA's Graduate Research Mentorship) for my work on Tatar.


Tu3 Proceedings Paper OLEARY.pdf

Kazan Tatar, like other Turkic languages, has a system of verbal suffixes which are generally considered to encode both tense and evidentiality. In this paper, I will discuss an odd collection of syntactic environments where only a subset of these suffixes are allowed. I will argue that the morphemes that can be used in these contexts encode tense but not evidentiality. In more conventional environments, these morphemes are compatible with evidential features, but the morphemes themselves do not carry evidential information.

Additionally, I will discuss the licensing of propositional content in these specific syntactic environments, in order to explain why they are allowed to lack evidential information. Following an analysis of Korean embedded nominal clauses, I propose that propositional content is only licensed in these specific embedded clauses when the embedded proposition has been mentioned previously in the local discourse. The fact that the proposition has previously established, along with evidential material, allows a repetition of the proposition without evidential information.