Edited by Carolina Figueras Bates and Adrián Cabedo Nebot
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 290] 2018
► pp. 107–124
Chapter 5. Evidentiality, deonticity and intensification in Internet forum language
We analyze the Spanish verbal periphrases tienes que + infinitive and debes + infini-tive [you have to + infinitive and you should + infinitive], with a deontic meaning, in an Internet forum. These verbal forms are used to give advice to other Internet users. After analyzing their functions, we reached the conclusion that such periphrases, with deontic value, function as epistemic modals: on the part of the speaker, they imply an axiological evaluation of his or her advice in terms of it being essential and necessary. Its evidential value (in the sense of information validation rather than as a source) derives from two factors. From a pragmatic inference: when a speaker expresses a high degree of certainty, to the extent of presenting an act as a requirement or obligation, he or she must have compelling evidence in order to believe that. And from an argumentative strategy: in order to justify their exhortations, the speakers draw on their personal experience and present themselves as witnesses who guarantee the validity of their recommendations.
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