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Subjectivity in English

Generative Grammar Versus the Cognitive Theory of Epistemic Grounding


Peter Pelyvas

This volume deals with some theoretical and practical aspects of expressing subjectivity (subjective epistemic modality) in English. Its main concern is cognitive predicates and modal auxiliaries, but it also gives insights on how other elements of the language are capable of expressing epistemic modality. It compares the Theory of Government and Binding, Cognitive Grammar (chiefly Langacker's version), and to some extent, truth-functional theory from the point of view of how they can account for relevant aspects of the syntax and semantics of elements expressing subjectivity. The book has an obvious cognitive bias, but this does not prevent the author from suggesting substantial modifications in Langacker's theory of epistemic grounding, which he regards as an essential theoretical tool in handling the linguistic aspects of all problems connected with the expression of subjectivity in English.
Contents: A comparison of generative, truth conditional and cognitive theory - Non-factive and cognitive factive predicates in the Theory of Government and Binding - If-clauses - The role of cognitive models in linguistic organization - Metaphorical extension in MAY - Epistemic grounding.