Intersubjective patterns of English modalised mental state verbs
We survey a set of syntactic configurations resulting from the modalisation of the mental verbs know, see and think in different varieties of English. The patterns are identified as falling within two discourse functions expressing intersubjectivity: (a) recognising the other without taking over and (b) acknowledging the other without giving in. In the former case, the Speaker/Writer intends to lead the interlocutor in one direction without overtly expressing his/her aim; the latter pertains to the Speaker/Writer’s attempt to anticipate a possible objection of the Addresssee or to counterbalance a previous statement. The data are drawn from seven components of the International Corpus of English and highlight specific trends of locutionary intersubjectivity pertaining to the varieties under scrutiny.
Published online: 15 August 2008