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(C)Overt epistemic modality and its perspectival effects on the textual surface

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Abstract

With an eye on the universal status of modality, the paper focuses on covert and overt grammatical coding of epistemic modality and its perspectival effects on the textual surface. Based on a theoretical discussion concerning the core principle of root vs. epistemic modality, it is argued that the grammatical structure of epistemic modality is reflected on the sentence level, on the textual surface, and within narrative discourse, and thus is manifested in a recursive manner on different levels of linguistic structure. In consequence, it is claimed that the universal status of modality can be pinned down not only cross-linguistically, but also within the language itself. En passant, the alignment of linguistic micro- and macro-structure sheds light on the basic question what modality is about in its core meaning.

References

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