Amir Anvari (Insitut Jean Nicod, ENS Paris)

Veridicality and Indexical Shift in Farsi

The speech-report predicate "goftan" (to tell) in Farsi can embed questions, like its English counterpart (e.g., "Leila told Mina who stole Ali's bike"). "goftan" also licenses indexical shift, unlike its English counterpart (see Deal 2017 for a recent survey). Thus, the Farsi sentence corresponding to "Leila told Mina I stole Ali's bike" has two readings, in one reading the first person pronoun refers to the actual speaker (like in English) and in one reading the pronoun refers to Leila, the reported speaker (unlike English). Interestingly, "goftan" does not license both question-embedding and indexical shift simultaneously. In this talk, I will claim that this latter is the case because (i) question-embedding under "goftan" is obligatorily veridical, in the sense that "x goft Q" can only mean that there is a true answer p to the question Q such that x told p to someone, (cf. Spector & Egre 2015) and (ii) veridicality disrupts indexical shift because it leads to a "double access" reading of the shifted indexical. On the theoretical side, I derive (ii) from a rather naive implementation of veridicality and a modification to an independently needed constraint on indexical shift (known as Shift Together, Anand 2006). I provide evidence for the naive implementation of veridicality / factivity on the basis of the interpretation of Predicates of Personal Taste in factive environments.