Edited by Bert Cornillie and Juana I. Marín-Arrese
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 29] 2015
► pp. 123–146
Contrary to Italian and many other languages, German has a linguistic means to mark the speaker’s stance: the so-called modal particles, such as wohl, eben and ja. This paper examines their occurrence in a German novel and their possible translations in its Italian version. It analyses their complex meaning arising from the intertwined relations between speaker – hearer – state of affairs as the three key entities of stance they mark and the textual or situational context, concluding that they have only covert epistemic and evidential features. This cross-linguistic analysis proves that it is impossible not only to translate them, but also to draw a clear borderline between epistemicity and evidentiality.