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Evidentiality and Modality in European Languages

Discourse-pragmatic perspectives


Edited By Juana I. Marín-Arrese, Julia Lavid-López, Marta Carretero, Elena Domínguez Romero, Mª Victoria Martín de la Rosa and María Pérez Blanco

Evidentiality and Modality in European Languages focuses on discourse-pragmatic studies on the domains of evidentiality and epistemic modality, and also includes studies on deontic modality. The book presents ground-breaking research on the functions and the discourse-pragmatic variation of evidential expressions and modals in diverse discourses and genres, applying corpus-based methodologies. It offers unique features regarding content, usage and methodology, and comparative studies. The comparative viewpoint is addressed in contributions which provide a usage-based cross-linguistic account of the expression of evidentiality and modality in various European languages (English, French, Italian, Romanian and Spanish). The contributions are representative of the work on evidentiality and modality in European languages carried out in a substantial number of countries, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

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Is that What the President Said? (Celia Marqués Amorós)


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Is that What the President Said?

When Hard-news Headlines Report Someone’s Utterance, Are They Free from Reporter Appraisal? A Cross-linguistic Pragmatic Corpus Study

Abstract: The paper attempts to establish a classification of attribution headlines in terms of the degree of reporter positioning towards the reported content. Hard-news headlines reporting utterances do not present overt evaluation markers, but the reporting strategy used may result in some reporter appraising of the reported speech. Using Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal system as a starting point, this cross-linguistic pragmatic corpus study looks at the connection between appraisal and reported speech style in hard-news prestigious websites. Headline-specific definitions of reporter appraisal and significant differences between the reporting style of British and Spanish media emerge from the analysis. On the grounds of both the quantitative and qualitative results, the paper further concludes that around 20% of the headlines we absorb as presumed information are loaded with positioning and evaluation strategies that are more compatible with the opinion genre than with an informative function.

Keywords: appraisal – attribution – covert evaluation – evidentiality – hard-news headlines – opinion – pragmatic corpus study – reporting


The theoretical frameworks of Appraisal Theory and Evaluation have provided powerful tools to predict relationships between the linguistic patterns we can expect in different genres of media discourse, and the definition of such genres as either information or opinion, or a combination of both. The discourse analysis literature...

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