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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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Epistemicity in English and Spanish: an Annotation Proposal (Julia Lavid / Marta Carretero / Juan Rafael Zamorano)


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Epistemicity in English and Spanish: an Annotation Proposal

Abstract: In this paper we present an annotation proposal of the conceptual domain of epistemicity (epistemic modality and evidentiality) in English and Spanish as part of a larger annotation effort of modal meanings in the context of the MULTINOT project. Our proposal consists of a number of tasks. These are: a) identifying and defining the categories to be used as tags for annotation and incorporating them into an annotation scheme which captures epistemic modal and evidential meanings, as well as their language-specific realisations; b) developing annotation guidelines to aid in the annotation process; c) identifying and discussing problematic areas emerged during the creation of the annotation guidelines for epistemic expressions in the MULTINOT corpus; and d) implementing the proposed scheme for the large-scale annotation of the bilingual corpus using both automatic and manual procedures. The paper covers tasks a), b) and c) in detail.

Keywords: epistemicity – epistemic modality – evidentiality – corpus-based – annotation – English-Spanish

Introduction and Background

The notion of epistemicity has been proposed in Boye (2012) as a conceptual domain comprising the subcategories of epistemic modality and evidentiality. The former is defined in terms of the notion of degree of certainty, degree of commitment or epistemic support, while the latter is defined in terms of the notion of source of information, evidence, justification, or epistemic justification (Boye 2012: 2). While there...

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