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Visual perception
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The unmarked verb of visual perception can be used as a verb of mental perception and as an evidential verb.

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The verb sjensee can be used for visual perception as well as for mental perception. In the latter case, its meaning can be paraphrased as understand. This verb can be used as an intransitive evidential copula, as in the following example:

Example 1

It hûs sjocht der goed út
the house looks R good out
The house looks well

The structure consists of a theme subject, the verb, an evaluative adjective and a meaningless discontinuous idiomatic Adposition Phrase (PP), consisting of an R-pronoun and a preposition. This example does not just involve visual perception but an evaluation of that perception as well (in the form of an Adjective Phrase (AP)), which is in line with the assumption that mental perception in a broad sense is involved.

Such examples leave unexpressed the thematic role of the person who is doing the evaluative perception. The person doing the evaluative perception is inferred to be the speaker, unless this inference is cancelled by the addition of an overt perceiver, expressed for example in an adverbial phrase:

Example 2

It hûs sjocht der goed út neffens Bouke
the house looks R good out according.to Bouke
The house looks well according to Bouke

The role of perceiver would normally be realised in the subject position, as in the example below:

Example 3

Ik sjoch it hûs
I see the house
I see the house

It is not possible to turn a transitive structure into a structure of evaluative perception:

Example 4

a. *Ik sjoch it hûs goed
I see the house good
I see the house (is looking) well
b. *Ik sjoch it hûs der goed út
I see the house R good out
I see the house (is looking) well

Instead, the object of perception, bearing the role of theme, is realised in the subject position. The evidential use of the verb of visual perception is related to the middle or medial use. In the medial use, an instrument is realised in the structural subject position, as in the following example:

Example 5

Dizze bril sjocht goed
this glass look good
These glasses are good to look through

The medial and the evidential construction share the property that the agent of visual perception is not realised in the structural subject position, so that it becomes available for the instrument (or another argument) in the middle construction, and for the theme in the evidential construction.

Although the verb in the evidential construction above can be used to refer to specific objects, it is often accompanied by a pronoun vaguely referring to a general discourse topic such as itit, as in the following example:

Example 6

It sjocht der goed út
it looks R good out
It looks good

The theme topic can be further specified in a PP introduced by the preposition meiwith:

Example 7

It sjocht der goed út mei de tariedings foar it feest
the looks R good out with the preparations for the party
The preparations for the party look promising

In this example, it may sound somewhat unnatural to realise the theme in the subject position:

Example 8

?De tariedings foar it feest sjogge der goed út
the preparations for the party looks R good out
The preparations for the party look promising

The evaluative predicate is questioned with the AP hoehow:

Example 9

Hoe sjocht it der út neffens dy?
how feels it R out according.to you
What do you think about this?

The evaluator argument usually remains implicit, but it may be expressed in a PP introduced by the preposition neffensaccording to, as in (9) above.

The evidential derived from visual perception can be put in the perfect tense:

Example 10

It hat der lang goed útsjoen
it has R long good out.seen
Prospects have looked good for a long time
References:
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