Between evidentiality and epistemic modality: The case of the future and the conditional in european Portuguese

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Abstract

This paper aims to present an in-depth description of the synthetic and compound forms of the future and the conditional, as both inferential and reportative markers, drawing a framework for the respective distribution in Portuguese journalistic texts. A corpus analysis shows that different categories (evidentiality, modality, tense, and aspect) contribute to the construction of the values in question, defining different sets of properties for each of the verbal forms, in both inferential and reportative uses. Furthermore, it proves that these same values are particularly sensitive to textual genre: The reportative uses emerge in news reports, while the inferential uses appear more frequently in opinion texts. Ultimately, it illustrates how the use of these forms sheds light on the boundary between epistemic modality and evidentiality, demonstrating that the assertion of the information,source is distinct from the assessment of the speaker's attitude toward his/her statement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-121
Number of pages21
JournalBelgian Journal of Linguistics
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Conditional
  • Epistemic modality
  • Future
  • Inference
  • Reportative evidentiality

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