Article published in:Transatlantic Perspectives on Late Modern English
Edited by Marina Dossena
[Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics 4] 2015
► pp. 135–151
Legitimising linguistic devices in A Cheering Voice from Upper Canada (1834)
The present study categorises those devices concerning the expression of point of view in A cheering voice from Upper Canada (Colborne 1834). This book gives information about the English colony in Canada that is of value for prospective emigrants. The intention of the writer is to provide a detailed account of the benefits of living in Upper Canada, and why this is the ideal place for making profit. In addition, the writer has a very clear picture of the type of emigrants he envisages for the colony. Our objective is to explore legitimising devices in this book. Legitimising devices for us concern all those strategies leading to defence, support or justification of point of view. In this sense, this study covers matrices as well as other linguistic devices that are somehow indexical of the author’s position in the text. Our method follows from the model for the study of stancetaking proposed in Marín-Arrese (2009). We conclude that the author uses deontic modals to show authoritative voice whereas epistemic modality and internal/external participant modality have the persuasive function of promoting migration to Upper Canada. Moreover, the use of epistemic modals along with attitudinal expressions, communicative evidentials and cognitive matrices indicate a contrast between Canadian and old European social practices. The combination of these devices clearly leads to the fulfilment of the author’s intentions explicitly given in the introductory paragraphs of his book.
Published online: 12 February 2015
Colborne, Sir John
Alonso-Almeida, Francisco. Forthcoming
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