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Title: The functions of seem and parecer in early medical writing
Authors: Alonso Almeida, Francisco 
UNESCO Clasification: 57 Lingüística
Keywords: Epistemic modality
Issue Date: 2015
Journal: Discourse Studies 
Abstract: This article studies the function of the verbs seem and parecer with an evidential meaning in early medical writing in a time span of two centuries (1500–1700). The texts for analysis are excerpted from the Corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts in the case of English and the Corpus diacrónico del español (CORDE) in the case of Spanish. My hypothesis is that the forms seem and parecer are mainly evidential rather than epistemic, as suggested in the works of Johansson and Aijmer, since they primarily report on the speaker’s role in the formulation of predication. In this sense, the use of seem shows the way in which information has been obtained. Source of knowledge identification and attribution are important in medical prose because writers tend to make manifest that their information is based on demonstrable grounds, including inferential processes. My notion of evidentiality draws on the work of Cornillie and is essentially disjunctive. This means that the association of mode/source of knowledge with varying degrees of certainty and truth does not always take place. This study also allows for cross-cultural and cross-linguistic conclusions in terms of frequency, motivation and use of these evidential verbs in historical texts.
ISSN: 1461-4456
DOI: 10.1177/1461445614564517
Source: Discourse Studies [ISSN 1461-4456], v. 17 (2), p. 121-140
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