Semantic Field of Modal Certainty: A Corpus-Based Study of English Adverbs

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This book provides a detailed account of the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties of modal adverbs of certainty in present-day English. Methodologically it relies on three types of data: monolingual corpora, translation corpora and informant testing. It is the first study in which the semantic field of certainty as realised by English adverbs is explored.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is no doubt that this book will inspire similar studies in the domain of modality and in other domains."Ilse Depraetere in: Journal of English Language and Linguistics 3/2009
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen, Ghent University, Belgium; Karin Aijmer, Göteborg University, Sweden.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     v
Aims, methodology and data     1
Why this book is needed and what it is about     1
Modality and pragmatics     3
Aims     5
Methodology     6
Outline of the book     9
Establishing meaning relations: Problems and solutions     10
Introduction     10
Traditional theories of field semantics     10
The representation of non-discreteness in the conceptual field     12
Frame semantics     13
Semantic fields and feature decomposition     15
Methods to analyse semantic fields based on similarity and adjacency     16
Multifunctionality and translation paradigms     17
The representation problem - semantic maps     19
Lexical items and patterns     21
Summing up: the procedure used to study semantic relations in this work     22
The linguistic categories of modality and evidentiality     24
Introduction     24
Chafe (1986): A broad view of evidentiality     24
Faller (2002): A narrow view of evidentiality     29
Evidentials, modals and degrees of commitment     31
Adverbs of certainty and the assertive sentence     32
Subjectivity and evidentiality     33
Mirativity: how relevant is it in the English system?     36
Conclusion     38
An integrated model for describing adverbs of certainty     40
Introduction     40
Heteroglossia and rhetorical function     40
Indexicality and the context     44
Reflexivity     49
Levels of meaning     51
Classification of adverbs of certainty     57
Introduction     57
Classifications of adverbs of certainty in grammars     57
Studies of modal adverbials in English     64
The list of adverbs studied in this book     69
The meaning of modal adverbs     71
Adverbs of certainty     74
A contrastive perspective     77
The epistemic certainty adverbs certainly, definitely, indeed: Synatagmatic and paradigmatic dimensions     80
Introduction     80
A note on frequencies     80
A syntagmatic approach     81
A paradigmatic approach: the use of translation paradigms     83
Subclassification of the adverbs of certainty     83
Certainly     85
Definitely     97
Indeed      104
Summing up     119
The epistemic certainty adverbs no doubt, surely: Syntagmatic and paradigmatic dimensions     121
No doubt and related expressions     121
Surely     134
Summing up     145
Evidential, expectation and speech act adverbs: Syntagmatic and paradigmatic dimensions     147
Evidential adverbs     147
Expectation adverbs     172
Speech act adverbs     191
Adverbs of certainty and the wider context: Text types and genres     195
Introduction     195
Distribution in corpora     195
Of course     204
Certainly     210
Indeed     214
Obviously     219
Clearly     223
Definitely     227
Surely     229
Naturally     235
No doubt     236
A note on undoubtedly     243
Conclusions: a comparison with previous studies     244
Semantic-pragmatic relations: Networks and maps     247
Introduction     247
The method of establishing translation networks     247
The translation networks in four languages     249
The evidential adverbs obviously, clearly, evidently     254
Certainly, surely, definitely, indeed, no doubt     257
Expectation markers: of course and naturally     261
Coded and pragmatic meanings     262
Networks as the basis for semantic maps     263
Semantic-pragmatic relations: Parameters and features     278
Introduction     278
Parameters and features     278
Position in the clause     280
Scope     283
Modal status     283
Heteroglossic functions     304
Discourse functions     308
Indexical stance     311
Register: speech and writing     314
Connecting adverbs: clusters based on the feature analysis     315
Connecting features and translations     318
Conclusions     321
Appendix     325
Notes     369
References     371
Index of names     387
Index of subjects     389
Abbreviations of corpora     396
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