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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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The Use of Modality in the Early Academic Article. The "Journal des Sçavans" and the "Philosophical Transactions", 1665–1700 (David Banks)


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The Use of Modality in the Early Academic Article. The Journal des Sçavans and the Philosophical Transactions, 1665–1700

Abstract: The very first periodical of an academic nature was the Journal des Sçavans, whose first issue appeared in Paris in 1665. This was followed closely by the Philosophical Transactions, in London. The Journal des Sçavans was made up mainly of book reviews, covering the whole range of new knowledge of the time. The Philosophical Transactions was based on the editor’s voluminous correspondence, and was restricted to the field of science and technology. Verbal forms of modality (as opposed to adverbial, adjectival etc.) are the commonest modal expressions in both languages. Dynamic is the most common type of modality in both journals but it is considerably more frequent in the Philosophical Transactions. Deontic modality is the least frequent type in both journals, but it is relatively common in the Journal des Sçavans while being quite marginal in the Philosophical Transactions. Differences in the use of modals can be explained in terms of the editorial decisions made by the respective editors, which can themselves be seen as emanating from the differing historical contexts in France and England.

Keywords: epistemic modality – deontic modality – dynamic modality – editorial decision – historical context – Journal des Sçavans – modal expressions – Philosophical Transactions – register – seventeenth century

Historical Background

The first academic periodical was the Journal des Sçavans, whose...

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