Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/41885
Title: Vague language in the Corpus of Historical English Texts
Authors: Quintana Toledo, Elena 
UNESCO Clasification: 57 Lingüística
Keywords: Expressions
Vague Language
Elasticity
Interactional Strategy
Approximate Stretchers
General Stretchers
Scalar Stretchers
Epistemic Stretchers
Boosting
Hedging
Persuasion
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This paper seeks to explore how vagueness is linguistically manifested in the Corpus of Historical English Texts, a subcorpus within the Coruna Corpus of English Scientific Writing containing eighteenth and nineteenth century history texts. I shall draw on Zhang's (2015) framework for the study of vague language in terms of elasticity. This notion is understood as a property of language which allows communicators to use and shape vague linguistic units in order to fit into the different purposes of given communicative situations, providing a ground for negotiation of meanings between speakers/writers and listeners/readers, in which case vagueness is an eminently interactional strategy. With the help of the Coruna Corpus Tool for both quantification and text retrieval, I shall firstly identify the items belonging to the four lexical categories of elastic language in Zhang's (2015) taxonomy, namely (i) approximate stretchers (approximators and elastic vague quantifiers), (ii) general stretchers (general terms, placeholders and elastic vague category markers), (iii) scalar stretchers (intensifiers and softeners) and (iv) epistemic stretchers. I shall then analyse manually their pragmatic functions within the context of scientific writing and illustrate how writers use strategically vague language to make generalisations, to emphasise or mitigate their claims, or to persuade their readership.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/41885
ISBN: 978-84-9048-625-2
Source: Estudios de Lingüística Aplicada. Stancetaking in Late Modern English Scientific Writing. Evidence from the Coruña Corpus. Essays in Honour of Santiago González y Fernández-Corugedo, n. 2, p. 131-150. Francisco Alonso-Almeida (Ed.). Editorial Universitat Politècnica de València. ISBN: 978-84-9048-625-2
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