Tensions Between Discourse Structure and Conceptual Semantics
The Syntax of Epistemic Modal Expressions
Starting from an investigation of the information structure (specifically, the possibilities for focalization) of some major epistemic expression forms — modal adverbs and adjectives, mental state predicates, and modal auxiliaries — in Dutch and German (also with reference to English), this paper aims to show how the syntactic structure of these expression types is shaped (also diachronically) by the interaction (or, often, counteraction) of two major functional forces, viz. their conceptual semantics and their (usual) informational status in discourse. The investigation is primarily based on data drawn from corpora of Dutch and German spoken and written language.
Published online: 26 June 2000
Cited by 7 other publications
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