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Title: On the mitigating function of modality and evidentiality. Evidence from English and Spanish medical research papers
Authors: Alonso Almeida, Francisco 
UNESCO Clasification: 57 Lingüística
Keywords: mitigation; evidentiality; epistemic modality; commitment; involvement; pragmatics; semantics
Epistemic modality
Involvement, et al
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: 1612-295X
Journal: Intercultural Pragmatics 
Abstract: Scientific writing presents a set of rhetorical strategies to effectively express mitigation of claims. Critical analysis includes epistemic modality and evidentiality within these attenuating devices. In my view, the basis for these inclusions lies in a truth-value interpretation of the data. In the present article, my main objective is to show that, while epistemic modality can indeed convey mitigation of a proposition, evidentiality does not behave in a similar way. My intention is also to demonstrate following Cornillie and Delbecque (2008) that the use of evidentiality is to show the authors' construal of information rather than to imply authorial commitment to or indecision regarding the information presented. To this end, I will produce two different analyzes of the same data when coming to the description of evidentials, one that concerns a pragmatic interpretation. The study is conducted on a corpus of English and Spanish medical research articles from which instances of epistemic and evidential devices with a scope over a proposition are excerpted. The use of a contrastive analysis is twofold: first I want to detect preferences for any of these devices in two different languages, and second I also aim to discover whether these devices report a similar behavior in both cultures.
ISSN: 1612-295X
DOI: 10.1515/ip-2015-0002
Source: Intercultural Pragmatics[ISSN 1612-295X],v. 12, p. 33-57
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