The sense of smell as a knowledge source: historical origin of evidential uses in the verb oler
Jorge Fernández Jaén, Universidad de Alicante, España
Jorge Fernández Jaén, 2016: "El olfato como fuente de conocimiento: origen histórico de los usos evidenciales del verbo oler", Onomázein 33, 16-33.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.33.2

The bibliography about types of evidentiality has hardly dealt with the relationship between the sense of smell and the speaker´s level of epistemic certainty. The present paper, the aim of which was to analyze that relationship, has used an semantic analysis to prove that the sense of smell (expressed by means of the Spanish verb oler) not only can act as a source of variable epistemic modality information but also can have uses associated with mirativity (the expression of an unexpected or surprising piece of knowledge). Attention is additionally paid to the diachronic uses of oler which show that its evidential uses have become lexicalized from complex cognitive processes such as subjectivization or metaphorical structuring.