Evidentiality in adverbs of manner of perceivability
The case of English manifestly, noticeably, patently and visibly
This paper presents an analysis of the expression of evidentiality by the English adverbs manifestly, noticeably, patently and visibly (MNP&V). I propose that the adverbs have a meaning of manner and an evidential meaning, and that both meanings often coexist, in which case evidentiality is shown to be a pragmatic implication of the meaning of manner. An account is provided of the factors of the linguistic context that trigger MNP&V’s evidential meaning, as a single meaning or as an implication: propositional scope, realis assertion, no premodification by degree adverbs mapping on to a construal of totality and no coordination with adverbs of manner. Position is also shown to strengthen or weaken the evidential implication when MNP&V have syntactic clausal scope. The evidentiality expressed by MNP&V is also characterised according to mode of access, domain, subjectivity and reliability. The adverbs have been submitted to a quantitative analysis of all their occurrences in the British National Corpus; the results show that MNP&V are evidential by implication in most cases, and also uncover individual differences in features such as position and domain of evidence and in the extent to which each adverb can be considered as an evidential expression.