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. 147–172
Epistemic stance, evidential grounding and scope in unplanned oral genres
The aim of this paper is to analyze and discuss the semantic-pragmatic scope that epistemic phrases such as Spanish ‘no sé’ (I don’t know) play in oral opinion reports, a genre that implies a strong presence of value judgements and engagement on the part of the speaker.The stance frame that such epistemic phrases provide as fixed epistemic formulas has been pointed out by several authors that work in the interactional epistemic domain (Kärkkäinen 2003, 2007; Scheibman 2000, 2001; Thompson 2002), exploring whether the scope of these formulas (I think, I don’t know, I guess, I thought and I remember) extends over something that has yet to be verbalized (forward scope) or over something that has already been verbalized in the preceding turn (backward scope). The working hypothesis is that, contrary to conversational genre, where such fixed formulas tend to provide a forward scope, in opinion reports the scope is twofold, with a stronger presence of backward scope, in the case of ‘no sé’. Findings suggest: (i) strong presence of the epistemic phrasal form (‘no sé’), rather than the predicative one, in the genre analyzed; (ii) predominant role of ‘no sé’ as attitude marker, to convey affect (to construe emotional responses), judgement (to convey moral evaluations) and appreciation (to construe the value of things).
Keywords: oral genre, epistemic phrase, parenthetical, attitude, stance, appraisal, commitment, Spanish, Catalan, English, ,
Published online: 24 July 2018
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