Understatements and Hedges in English
The goal of this monograph is a comprehensive analysis of understatements and other forms of non-direct speech (hedges) in modern English. It is based on a multi-level approach, including philosophical, cultural, and socio-psychological arguments. The main part consists of an investigation of the linguistic restrictions for understatements and hedges to be formed by means of the following grammatical categories: negation of predicates, gradation of predicates, modalization of affirmative sentences by means of parenthetical verbs, modal adverbs, modal verbs, and questions.
[Pragmatics & Beyond, IV:6] 1983. ix, 192 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Preface | p. ix
0. Introduction | p. 1
1. Guidelines to Understatements and Hedges | p. 9
1.1. The sentence and its negatability
1.2. Liability constraints of the sentence
1.3. Working definition and working perspective
2. Phrastic Indetermination as a Device for Forming Understatements | p. 27
2.1. Negation of predicates
2.2. Detensification of predicates by grading adverbs
3. Neustic Indetermination as a Device for Forming Hedges | p. 97
3.1. Factivity and modality
3.3. Modalized assertory assertions
4. Communicative Conditions for Understatements and Hedges | p. 155
4.1. Another look at negatability of sentences
4.2. Communication as a possible threat to face
4.3. Understatements and hedges as face saving strategies
4.4. Face threatening acts and face saving strategies exemplified by praise and criticism
Footnotes | p. 171
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