Reporting Belief in the Nez Perce Language


ACLS Fellowship Program




The way human beings talk about beliefs has been the object of intense study by both linguists and philosophers. Belief reports in English come in several distinct varieties, raising the prospect that there may be more than one basic way of holding a belief. This project brings new, cross-linguistic evidence to bear on the study of belief reports. Informed by original fieldwork, it focuses on an in-depth study of belief reports in an under-studied, non-Western language: Nez Perce. The comparison of belief reports in English and in Nez Perce allows for an initial assessment of linguistic diversity in this area. The results expand the scope of cross-linguistic semantic research while contributing to the documentation of an endangered language.