1887

Pragmatic Markers and Propositional Attitude

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Abstract

In interactive discourse we not only express propositions, but we also express different attitudes to them. That is, we communicate how our mind entertains those propositions that we express. A speaker is able to express an attitude of belief, desire, hope, doubt, fear, regret or pretence that a given proposition represents a true state of affairs. This collection of papers explores the contribution of particles and other uninflected mood-indicating function words to the expression of propositional attitude in the broad sense. Some languages employ this type of attitude-marking device extensively, even for the expression of basic moods and basic speech act categories, other languages use such markers sparsely and always in interaction with syntactic form. Both types of language are examined in this volume, which includes studies of attitudinal markers in Amharic, English, Gascon, Occitan, German, Greek, Hausa, Hungarian, Japanese, Norwegian and Swahili. The theoretical emphasis is on issues such as interpretive vs. descriptive use of utterances or utterance parts, procedural semantics, linguistic underdetermination of the proposition expressed and the speaker’s communicated attitude to it, higher-level explicatures in the relevance-theoretic sense, the explicit — implicit distinction, as well as processes of grammaticalization and negotiation of propositional attitude in spoken interaction.<br />

Subjects: Discourse studies; Typology; Semantics

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