Chapter published in:Perspectives on Evidentiality in Spanish: Explorations across genres
Edited by Carolina Figueras Bates and Adrián Cabedo Nebot
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 290] 2018
► pp. 73–106
Performing the self in illness narratives
The role of evidentiality
Narrating the personal experience of a chronic illness poses the challenge of reflecting on epistemic states and sources of evidence that shape the person´s past, present and future selves. To explore the role of evidentials in different illness stories, 32 unsolicited narratives of eating disorders (ED), 28 accounts of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and 29 testimonies of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were selected from the Internet. The analysis revealed that, in ED narratives, the enactment of the self was realized via visual perception, and the body was construed as self. In BPD narratives, inner emotional states were adopted as the source of evidence, and the mood was defined as self. In CFS narratives, the evidence informing the self came from embodied perception, and sensations were understood as self. Evidentials, therefore, are genre-sensitive and develop particular discursive functions in different illness narratives.
Keywords: evidentiality, illness narratives, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome
Published online: 24 July 2018
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Cited by other publications
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