6. The truth about <i>verdad</i>

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Speech data are used to analyze the discursive uses of verdad, which differ from the more conventional syntactic functions as subject and object within the noun phrase. We show that speakers use verdad as a marker that enables the organization and flow of discourse. As a discursive strategy, verdad &#8211; as well as its phonologically reduced variants (verd&#225; and ved&#225;) &#8211; have developed innovative ways of encoding epistemic modality. The marker can take an inferential role in situations that imply a certain degree of speaker deduction. In other contexts, verdad takes on a corroborative role, allowing the speaker to communicate a higher degree of certainty on the information being shared. The present analysis illustrates the way that markers can encode the different degrees of certainty that the speaker attributes to the propositional load.


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