Indefiniteness and imperfectivity as micro-grammatical contexts of epistemicity in German-Slovene translations
The paper deals with the frequency and the collocation modalities of the epistemic and root modal verb constructions with marked variants of some grammatical parameters in two German literary texts representing the 19th century German written language. They are compared with their Slovene translations. According to the Slovene model of Natural Syntax, the token-frequency of the observed constructions and their micro-grammatical collocation tendency form the basis for generating the naturalness and grammaticalization status of the observed structures. Special focus is placed on Abraham’s (1990, 1999, 2001) hypothesis of a strong collocation tendency between epistemic modality and imperfectivity, on the one hand, and root modality and perfectivity, on the other, as well as Leiss’ (2000a, b) hypothesis regarding typological links with referential (in)definiteness. Both hypotheses will be confirmed by the statistical data obtained from the investigated corpora in both languages.