Edited by Pascal Hohaus and Rainer Schulze
[Studies in Language Companion Series 216] 2020
► pp. 109–140
Conceived as an instance of critical meta-linguistics, this study traces how and why the expert literature has come to categorize seem as a marker of evidentiality. This by now common claim is seen to depend not on a more adequate account of the data, but on (axiomatic) decisions guided by underlying ideologies, the formation of theory communities, and the belief in semantic essences. As foils for comparison, my contribution will offer panoramic surveys of the earlier conceptualizations of seem in terms of impression-based qualifications and hedging. To start off, the article will present my own view on seem, which assigns the verb an invariable meaning associating two alternative conceptualizations held at the same time, where one (say, the factive) is attentionally foregrounded in one context while the other (the fictive) is backgrounded.