Edited by Juana I. Marín-Arrese, Gerda Haßler and Marta Carretero
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 271] 2017
► pp. 249–269
BE likely to and BE expected to, epistemic modality or evidentiality?
Markers of (non)commitment in newspaper discourse
This paper deals with the contribution of BE likely to and BE expected to to the expression of point of view in newspaper discourse. On the basis of a unified and contextualized account of those structures’ operating modes, it is argued that they both have modal and evidential values – a combination which, by allowing the speaker to express an opinion while distancing him/herself from it, might explain their extensive use in journalistic texts. Yet, it is also shown that each marker has specific characteristics which, on the one hand, entail different contextual constraints that partly explain their coexistence as well as their diverging uses – especially when other markers of modality or reported speech are involved – and, on the other hand, inform the speaker’s choices depending on his/her level of commitment to the evaluation.